Why mass-surveillance is not OK.

Busting the myths.

If you have something to hide, you should not be doing it in the first place.

  • When your are being watched, you start behaving the way you are expected to behave & not how you wish to behave.
  • Any activity or discussion you had with someone in private, could be used as suspicion and could be used to bring charges against you.
  • Why then do we not allow the government to install CCTVs inside our homes. That would clearly bring down the chances of a burglaries. We resist that because it encroaches upon the private intimate lives we share with family and friends.

The surveillance affects the bad guys only, rest have nothing to worry.

The problem with this is — how do we decide who the bad guys are. To the citizens, any person or group acting against the interests of the general public is the bad guy. To the government, any person or individuals showing dissent to the government could be the bad guy. This clearly deters citizen action stemming from dissent in the general public.

Massive scale surveillance has helped to prevent terrorist attacks.

Studies have shown that mass-surveillance have not prevented a single terrorist attack — for instance the Boston Bombings could not be prevented in spite of the massive scale of surveillance that had been in place prior to the bombing. As a matter of fact, the 9/11 could have been avoided had the FBI & NSA collaborated better. The reason 9/11 went undetected on the radar was not because of lack of intelligence but rather the lack of collaboration on the available data between the different government agencies.

Massive-scale surveillance increases the chances of detecting the bad guy.

This myth was busted time and again. Targeted surveillance leads to higher chances of detection instead of indiscriminate collection of data — as chances of missing out on the critical data in a sea of data is quite high.

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