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Feds Have More Privileges For Warrant-less Surveillance, Courtesy a New Bill

You may expect that the government would be aiding in protecting your online privacy. But unfortunately, the situation is the exact opposite in today’s world. The government is spending millions of dollars on surveillance over the internet. The people who are surveyed are not the ones who are being suspected of something, or who have some past record of suspicious activities. All the citizens and residents of the nation are under constant surveillance. This is a measure that the government undertakes with or without your consent for the sake of national security.

While this is a well-known fact, the recent developments in the government have worked against your online privacy rather than benefiting it. Previously, if a subject was to be placed under detailed surveillance, the concerned authorities had to obtain a warrant from court, failing which they could be prosecuted and penalized. However, the new bill passed by the government overturns this and grants the Federal officials more freedom in terms of planting bugs and trackers to watch your online activities.Online Security

All For The Sake Of National Security

There is no doubt that the bill was passed keeping in mind the issue of national security. The days are fraught with danger and the country has a number of enemies to watch out for. Worse, these enemies are lurking in our midst as common citizens, making their devious schemes to endanger the country and its citizens. So, you should not be worried if a simple browser option like ‘stop cookies/tracking online’ option is ignored and you are tracked, just to ensure that you are not among the people plotting against the country.

The Risks Fraught With Warrant-less Tracking

While the aforementioned argument of the authorities that national security trumps online privacy is sound, we cannot ignore the risks associated with it. There is no guarantee that the authorities will use this privilege with the appropriate discretion. In the past, the court viewed the situation from a neutral standpoint and evaluated the pros and cons before issuing a warrant. But with this new-found freedom, the Feds might go on a tracking spree just to make their job easier. Of course, they have the technology today to sift through so much data and look for what is relevant to them. There is also a chance of some of the Feds abusing this freedom for personal vendettas.

The Law Is Against Privacy

If you are under the impression that the constitution and its laws are for online privacy, you cannot be more wrong. The laws, which incidentally are in effect even today, were framed at an age where you had to download the email from a server to your computer in order to read it. But this is the age of the Cloud. All your emails, and even some of your applications, are on the cloud and the laws that govern privacy are all but useless in today’s digital age. There is a marked apathy that the government displays towards changing laws frequently and this is another factor that works against our online privacy.

Is There A Solution In Sight?

While the move to give Feds more freedom is definitely good from the point of view of the government, the common man’s online privacy is what you can call collateral damage. There seems to be no viable solution in sight, at least at this point of time. All you can do is to make use of the tools that protect your online privacy regularly and diligently, and hope that you don’t fall prey to the Feds’ over enthusiasm for justice, if you can call it that!

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