The Real ID Act: Privacy and Government Surveillance

The Real ID Act: Privacy and Government Surveillance

The Real ID Act: Privacy and Government Surveillance

The Real ID Act: Privacy and Government Surveillance

Excerpt

American society is struggling with the issue of surveillance and the loss of individuals’ privacy. Surveillance and the technologies used, and implications for the future of American society are examined in this volume.

Public Law 109–13 contains the Real ID Act, and the implementation of this act and others like it has far-reaching ramifications for Americans’ privacy. The Real ID Act, an example of recent laws regarding privacy and surveillance, serves as a basis for discussing the development of the surveillance society and its effect on American citizens.

The new surveillance system erodes personal privacy and creates a threat to privacy and autonomy from both criminals, the government, and due to insider abuse of data, criminal members of the government. There is a possibility that Real iD information access can be used against people in ways both legal and illegal. Whether the government is capable of responsibly handling increased amounts of information regarding its citizens is in question. Such resources appear to only provide opportunities for improper gathering of and access to and misuse of personal data.

For most people, the developing surveillance state may only pose a potential danger. However, when someone is identified as a target, the potentially devastating effect of government scrutiny threatens participatory democracy and the expression of legitimate political dissent.

The discussion of these issues in this book can increase awareness of the erosion of privacy rights which, once surrendered, become increasingly difficult to regain. Additionally, there are questions as to the validity of the security assumptions that are used to justify the erosion of constitutional protections.

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