Computer Surveillance A Serious Issue
Many of the stories in the news have under tones that worry people that the United Stated is moving toward becoming more of a police state. These stories include police using drones similar to those used in bombing raids in the Middle East to monitor civilians, GPS trackers to document where suspected criminals are traveling and routine use of computer surveillance to comb through personal or work emails. Police can claim that the use of any drone device would only be used to safeguard the public, and that GPS tracking devices help police on tighter budgets continue to thwart criminal activity. Although both of these monitoring systems can indeed be used for positive causes they can also be used with malicious intent. However, the most concerning form of police surveillance that most people don’t even think about is how law enforcement authorities can review a person’s emails, without first obtaining a warrant, if those digital documents are over 180 days old.
Some people will delete spam emails or other personal emails that have been read. Some prefer to keep their emails saved, especially if those digital letters have content related to business activity. With so many popular email programs such as gmail and yahoo offering free services and essentially unlimited storage of emails it is no surprise that more people are choosing to simply read an email then move on with their daily life. However, those old emails, those private and personal emails, can at anytime be accessed by police once they are 180 days old. This is not only legal under current legislation, but it does not even require police to obtain a warrant from a judge!
“Online information and digital security should be a concern with anyone who shares personal information on the Internet”, explained a technology specialist and writer for GPS Tracker Shop. “Anyone who has conducted online banking, posted on a blog, created a Facebook account or even used email in the past should be concerned and ask their local congressperson to update laws pertaining to electronic surveillance.”
When it comes to online security, collection of private data and many other e-topics, appropriate legislation is far, far behind the curve. This is because technology is moving much faster than politicians can keep up with. New online privacy concerns are popping up everyday, especially now that websites, cell phone manufacturers, wireless carriers and mobile apps are all collecting the personal data of users for target marketing. Currently, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 is the leading document used to weigh in on such privacy concerns associated with computer technology. The only problem is that the act is so out-dated it is almost entirely useless in today’s modern computing software world filled with search and social networking.
Whether it is infringement upon freedom disguised as homeland security the reality is the NSA is spying on citizens and combing through email accounts every single day. Although the recent revelations by Edward Snowden and subsequent outrage among citizens has lead to some domestic spying reforms, the reality is that everyday people are essentially having their personal information raided without any reasonable cause. This is something all Americans should be concerned with.