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Is it spying? Is it surveillance? Is there a difference?

With all the recent scandal with regards to the NSA and their spying techniques, the feeling of "Big Brother" always watching is a little overwhelming.

Spying

But some think that our privacy has been long gone. I suppose this rings true with all of the technology that we use on a daily basis. "A survey conducted by the Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor just days before the NSA news broke found that 85% of Americans already believed their phone calls, e-mails and online activity were being monitored," (cnn.com). So these recent developments don't necessarily scare all Americans. Many view it as a necessity to keep civilians safe and as a means to get a jumpstart on possible terrorist activities. A woman tweeted the following "Terror war only fought by intelligence gathering. We criticize those entrusted to keep us safe & scream when they fail to do so," (cnn.com). 

It seems the lines of privacy are becoming quite blurred. The issue of what is private and what is not is no longer black and white, but a grey area with hints of utilitarianism.

So now, in recent developments, the whistleblower has been identified and now facing possibe criminal charges - but is he a criminal? Or is he societies' newest hero? All depends on how you look at it. This man has just released extremely valuable information that has now probably opened peoples' minds to think about what really goes on "behind the scenes." 

The following is a LINK to an opinion piece that shares many ideas on Internet privacy - some of them are very interesting! 

I'm also including a LINK to an article that breaks down the who/what/where/when/why with the NSA story. 

What I find most interest about this entire issue is the opinions of people, whether they are for or against Internet surveillance. I read a couple of the comments at the bottom of this CNN ARTICLE and 3 comments in it became clear that the issue is barely about privacy but about politics, like most things these days. 

One comment really stuck out in regards to companies such as Google, Microsoft and Apple VS our private information. It read along the lines of if the product or service is free, then the company isn't working for you - it then continued on with saying that the advertisers are the ones who pay, and drawing the conclusion there.

Just some interesting food-for-thought. 

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