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What is safety worth to you?

January 17, 2018

 

2017 recently ended and was full of worldwide terrorist attacks, domestic shootings, violence and international political unrest. This is the world we live in.

We, as citizens, try to remain positive and optimistic until the next deadly event is broadcast over television, stirring up emotion, spreading fear and causing civil vigilance and unrest. 

What if I told you all mass shootings, terrorist attacks and petty crime could be prevented? Would you let me do it? Would you trust the preventer? 

This was the basis to the 2002 film “Minority Report” starring Tom Cruise. In the film, Cruise works as a police officer in the year 2054 and has the authority to arrest citizens accused of crimes before they take place.

The film takes a turn when Cruise himself is accused of a future murder, sending him on the run from authorities.

Though the movie is science fiction, it is not far off from what is being developed by technology firms and utilized quietly by our government.

Take, for example, a threatening intelligence firm called Palantir Technologies, which is now worth over $20 billion since its founding 10 years ago and has contracts with government agencies such as the CIA.

One of the investors of this firm is a PayPal founder Peter Theil. Theil stated in an interview with Bloomberg, “Palantir is the key to stopping major terrorist attacks. We will do it by uncovering these conspiracies before they come together.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJwXL7vx5Q4)

It sounds like a great idea on the surface to stop attacks before they happen, but at what lengths will companies and government agencies like the CIA and Palantir go to prevent an attack? What information do they have access to prevent them?

These are questions that the American citizens must be asking so civil liberties are not eroded. Don’t forget that CIA employee turned in whistleblower Edward Snowden, who exposed US government agencies of collecting data and spying on American citizens through the release of classified NSA documents.

It is evidence like this that makes it seem like our society is not far off being transformed into one from “Minority Report.” I would love to see terrorist attacks and crimes prevented, but I am not willing to give up liberties in order to do so and neither should you.

That simply takes power away from the citizenry and puts it in the hands of authorities where abuse is possible, and power is already being abused here.

We should not have to fear the possibilities of mass shootings and terrorist attacks, but we should be afraid when we surrender our liberties and hand them to the authorities in return for security.

The erosion of liberties will far effect all American citizens, and that is too much of a price to pay.

If you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll only come back asking for more. Next thing you know, that mouse has taken everything that belonged to you and you can’t even pee without asking.

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