It almost always comes down to security of the masses versus protecting the civil rights of the individual (“Are the police spying on you?,” Feb 9). We have the continual development of sophisticated surveillance techniques using biometrics (facial, fingerprints, walking), cellphones (communications and location), and digital cameras connected by networks. Government organizations at the federal and state levels have or will soon have our digital photos and fingerprints via either a passport or a Real ID driver’s license.

My concern as a retired veteran in this business is not necessarily the majority of those who work for the intelligence or police organizations who are trying to legally protect the U.S., its communities, and its citizens from malicious foreign governments and criminal misfits. It’s primarily the politicians I’m worried about.

Some politicians have an insatiable appetite for power and control by any means — an inherent defect in human nature. This is where it’s imperative that we have checks and balances to control corrupt politicians and to prevent a slow evolution of becoming the next surveillance state. Upholding the tenets of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights is critical, even if it’s not popular at the moment.

The technology we have available to us today is fantastic. We just have to make sure it’s used correctly to avoid eroding our civil rights in small increments over time. Historically, countries have been down this road before and it usually doesn’t end well.

And you may want to think twice about using your biometrics instead of long passwords to unlock your digital devices and other accounts. Also turn off the location setting on your phone.

 

Dennis Lovejoy

Fairborn, Ohio

(formerly of Augusta)


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