What Is More Important: Our Privacy or National Security?

1,401 Views Updated: 10 Nov 2017
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Hello Reader,

We are glad that you shared your query with us. National security v/s privacy is a much-hyped debate which yet has no specified solution. Our experts have worked out some ‘they should’ and ‘they shouldn’t’ for the Government in terms of breaching people’s privacy. Have a look.

Living in the 21st century, everything we have and everything we are is available online. This means that all of our personal information is present online. It does not matter if you have locked away all your data beyond a supposedly secure password, it is online and it will be available to anyone who has the means to access it.

The importance of privacy has been repeatedly given heed for the fact that breach of privacy for national security has been permitted to counter terrorism. The government does everything it can to combat terrorism and hence they have inevitably turned to spying on their own citizens.


But is national security so important that it is worth this violation of liberty and privacy? Should the citizens be prepared to give up some privacy in return for greater security? Or has the government already gone too far in invading our personal freedoms?

The debate about what is more important, national security or privacy has been going on for ages and while some support privacy, others are all in for national security.

Let’s start with the philosophical fundamentals. Limiting civil liberties and the right to privacy in the name of defending a liberal democratic nation is the ultimate hypocrisy. Modern, western liberal democracies are there to protect the rights of their citizens. According to the well-read spiritual leaders, all people were born with God-given rights, one of which was liberty, and that the purpose of governments was to protect those rights. If that same government is attacking our liberty and privacy under the name of national security, then they are betraying us in every sense of the word.


On the other hand, some believe that the government is beholden to protect the natural rights of their citizens, but that is just one of many tasks of governing. Without the social contract, we are nothing but intelligent animals, wriggling in the state of nature. When we sign or agree to be a part of the social contract, we give up some of our rights to the government with a view of them protecting us and in times of emergency, the government might have to infringe on our other rights in order to protect us. Our rights do us no good if we’re dead anyway.

Both the arguments have equal weightage and hence one cannot decide which is right. We hope that we have been able to clear some doubts that you had.

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Well, in my opinion, both are equally important. But if one has to be altered to safeguard the other, then, my vote goes to National Security. In the event of a breach of privacy, the impact of the same will be faced by a handful of few who are closely related to it. However, the breach of national privacy would impact the entire nation, not just personally but economically and socially as well. It will have a greater effect on the nation and everyone will suffer because of the same. Hence, I value National Security more than privacy!

National Security is what is matters the most. Our privacy is important but you cannot lay emphasis on  privacy or individualistic concerns at the altar of national security. We must not forget that our country comes first no matter what. It is our nation that shapes us and we must not talk of our privacy when it comes to national affairs. The security of the nation is something which cannot be ignored. People often complain that the government or the state often invade their privacy but this is for the safety of the citizens of the nation itself. Privacy is something which must be respected and everyone must be given space but people should co-operate when it comes to the affairs of the nation. A security of the person and nation as a large should be priority, a person can compromise with privacy in extentuating circumstances. We are because of our nation. Nation is a concept which embodies everything, privacy is matter if one individual, however. The national security, of ignored, can have grave consequences which can be fatal for all the citizens. I believe there is nothing more important than the nation. Everything is trivial  before the nation, for my money. Also, the nation transcends everything. You must understand that the privacy is of no use if the nation in which you live is not safe. Yes, the agencies checks the details of the individuals which is sometimes very unacceptable but its impact is good and it can be seen and noticed in the long run. The intrusion into someone’s life, people say, is against the constitution but if you want your safety, you would have to adjust and make settlements somewhere. If the issue of national security is not addressed, people take a different route and start casting aspersions on the government. We must know that had we been not safe, sound and secure, we could not thought about the privacy and our freedom, leave alone talk or discuss about it. There should be no arguments against national security and people should rather be supportive of it instead of questioning the intentions of people who care about the nation.

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