What If You Were Being Watched?

If the government was to surveillance your internet or cellphone usage would you change the way you use the internet?

Would it change what you search on the internet?

Would you stop criticizing the government online?

If you’re like most Canadians, then you will probably be against surveillance but wouldn’t change your behaviour if the government was to monitor your usage. Perhaps this is because most of us figure we have nothing to hide since we are not linked to anything “wrong”.

According to Amnesty International, individuals fail to consider the very plausible idea of being linked to something “wrong”, accidentally.  What if you went on to the wrong website, put in “wrong” search words which now make you “questionable” to the government? Or the data accumulated from your internet usage creates a scenario where your actions became questionable. Would you feel differently about surveillance?

Although we all understand that government surveillance would be a violation of our right to privacy, do we really understand the implications of our privacy being violated? This is exactly what Amnesty International is aiming to address.

Amnesty International started a campaign #UnfollowMe as a means of pressuring governments to ban “mass surveillance”.  Amnesty focused its initiative on five major countries: the U.S, Canada, New Zealand, U.K and Australia. Furthermore, Amnesty is advocating for more transparency and oversight in respect to how the government uses its surveillance powers.

How do you feel about government surveillance? Which side do you agree with? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Read more at: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/03/23/majority-of-canadians-oppose-state-surveillance-new-report-says.html

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5 comments

  1. After living as a real “lab rat” in a mental institution for years, under constant watch from the staff; then, during the last two years, living there where they literally did have cameras all over except in the bedrooms and bathrooms, I would say to the governments, not just no, but “OH HELL NO!”

    I think it’s bad enough we have hackers trying to pry into our business, but if the government were to interfere, it could even come down to what type of website you were permitted to make, and that is scary. I might be censored, even though I use a pen name and all other names are changed, they could say something like my website is “inappropriate” due to the sensitive nature of the subject.

    That is my opinion. – LaVancia

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It was interesting because I held the same mentality that I would probably not adjust my online behaviour much as I feel that my usage is not necessarily a “red flag” or anything that can be deemed inappropriate by the government. However, my notion of inappropriate or sensitive information is likely very different than that of higher authorities and I did not take that into account at all.

    As you mentioned, most individuals, myself included, do not genuinely understand the practical implications of such privacy violations. Could you perhaps provide an example or some sort of scenario that will put this idea into perspective for your followers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment Ktbedi. I appreciate you taking the time to read the posts and leave comments. To address your question, the reason I didn’t provide an example is because we really can’t account for what authorities might find threatening or reason for concern. Nonetheless, I will attempt to provide you with an example. Imagine a scenario where a person is researching terrorist groups. The person then posts something in correlation with the terrorist group ideology but the individual has no intention of joining the group nor does the person support the larger ideology promoted by the group – this may be considered to be a red flag. I hope that helps you understand a little better. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. That actually was a perfect example. I can see how the individual may think nothing of something like that; it is innocent research and simply posting in regards to the research. However for authorities it could be interpreted otherwise. Absolutely makes sense. The same idea would most definitely apply for many other cases such as researching about domestic violence, sexual abuse, etc. Good to know because now I may actually be a bit more cautious in my internet activity now that I have a more sound understanding of how the “government watching me” impacts my life.

        Liked by 1 person

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