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< Back to question Has surveillance gone too far? Show more Show less

The Post-9/11 political consensus put a greater emphasis on state surveillance. Increasingly sophisticated technologies gave state actors the power to track and watch ordinary people like never before. While supporters argue that this is a small price to pay for increasing safety and preventing terrorism, others see this as a serious contravention of human rights. Is the extent to which we are now surveilled a step too far?

Yes, surveillance has gone too far Show more Show less

Unwarranted surveillance is not just intrusive; it is also a heinous violation of our human rights.
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Surveillance is being used as sole evidence for culpability

Innocent people are being punished for crimes they didn't commit thanks to how surveillance is used as evidence.
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Context

Physical evidence is not always needed these days to convict someone - as long as you have video proof.

The Argument

In approximately 80 countries, there are laws in place protecting citizens from how their governments use their data and footage. As the times change, these laws are rewritten to provide clearer definitions. If some form of security footage is used against you, any freedom of speech you may have no longer applies. Anything said on the video could be used against you. In countries that do not provide its people with a trial, a surveillance video can feel like an unfair amount of evidence to hold against one person. There have been thousands of cases of people being falsely accused through recordings and internet records. In the United Kingdom alone, about 1,500 requests for audio and video records are made each day. Over time, more and more companies are analyzing the words we say and comparing them to that of someone who is a real threat. In the early 2000s, a man from the United States was charged with first degree murder. Ten years after residing in prison, it was discovered that he was in fact innocent and was then released. This was a case where surveillance was used as evidence against him, and he was then wrongfully found guilty. Whether or not physical evidence is found, surveillance is still considered concrete evidence, which has the potential to incorrectly convict many people.

Counter arguments

Laws put in place to protect those being tried are not always adapted to the current era. This makes it harder to guarantee whether certain evidence should be viewed as accurate. Surveillance usage is not to blame, but instead it is prosecutors and defenders who fail to find additional credible information.

Premises

[P1] Video footage is not a reliable source of information to be used in the legal process.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] Surveillance cannot be tampered with, as it is sent directly from the source to the destination.

References


    This page was last edited on Thursday, 16 Jul 2020 at 17:23 UTC

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