There is quite an argument for both sides about sacrificing personal privacy for national security. But is it always that? Is national security the end goal or only the stated goal?
Private businesses began protecting themselves against burglars, robbers and thieves with video cameras overlooking their showroom floors or merchandise areas. This was private and special use for their own protection and security. Local police used the tapes to identify bad guys with the permission of business owners who had suffered losses. Soon thereafter, law enforcement officials realized they could track suspects of other crimes by requesting the help of citizens using the devices. Then they demanded citizen participation in the name of public good.
Now there are public funded cameras on virtually every intersection in every major city and most smaller urban areas. Private cameras are routinely included in crime stopping. Rural areas are patrolled by drones with cameras staking out every move of everyone within view. Police cruise major shopping center parking lots and entertainment venues using electronic license plate readers. They know where you were and when you were there.
The GPS data in your phone or auto is available to law enforcement when you are arrested or suspected of being an accomplice to a crime or involved with a perpetrator. Even if it is a casual acquaintance that is under suspicion and they called you once, you become a potential investigative target. Your movements, conversations, purchases, meetings and routines might be gathered and archived.
Your medical records are now, thanks to Obamacare, public records classified for use by any requesting government agency. The NSA, FBI, CIA, DHS, HHS, EPA and others may request your medical background at almost any time. Have you ever consulted a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker about your feelings? Those conversations might be part of a file to deny you some of your God given rights to travel, property or gun ownership.
The telephone meta data collection by various alphabet agencies was a great concern for a short period a couple of years ago. Now it is accepted as a necessary tool of the government to track terrorists. I wrote an essay <link> on this back almost three years ago when I first heard about the meta data collection.
Apple Corporation is now embroiled in the dilemma of protecting their customers and their business versus turning encrypted information over to the government. Once the government has the technological capability, they can break into any current iPhone. They can capture the meta data and more.
Yes, national security is important. But every government cry in the name of national security reduces personal privacy, rights and privileges. The security obtained is only good until the next incident. The lost rights, privileges and privacy are gone forever. Like Welfare and EBT, or any temporary government program for that matter, once in place they are perpetual and only grow. They win, we lose.
It would be one thing if our overlords would use the information for specific purposes then discard it. However, it is kept to be used against us at any time of their choosing. The Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah <link> says it all.