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Government Surveillance: Pros and Cons

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Government Surveillance refers to how the government accesses domestic communications. It can also refer to as how the government access communications involving potential foreign influence and terrorism. The aims of government surveillance are intelligence gathering, prevention of crime, the protection of a process, person, group, or object, and the investigation of crime. It is also used by criminal organizations for negative intentions.

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The pros of government surveillance include:

  1. Collection of information: The primary advantage of government surveillance is to gather enough information. Government agencies can obtain the information by direct investigation with subjects, infiltrating opposite groups, or using adequate and sophisticated intelligent resources to monitor communications.
  2. Absence of Threats To Physical Attack: During the process of government surveillance by any means; either over the video, internet, or communication lines, there is no level of risk of physical harm or attack posed to the objects being investigated. That makes it a win-win for the governments and object
  3. Real-time: The advent of government surveillance has brought about an easier way to determine the reason for an action and the level of justice that is necessary for any circumstance.
  4. Global Scale: There is a wide availability of government surveillance and it is almost everywhere. Tiny and sophisticated cameras with a high degree of audio and video quality can be installed on poles, stop lights and in the You can find cameras installed on telephone poles, stop lights, and in the ceilings and exterior of homes and businesses around the world. There are automated license plate readers that can be installed almost anywhere to track driving patterns in the city. Drones can provide real-time surveillance as well. Then you have the secret programs of the government that can record and analyze data automatically on a mass scale.

The cons of government surveillance include:

  1. Imprecision: Nothing is actually perfect. When surveillance is conducted by the government on a mass scale, then it is not possible for the monitors to pay close details to everything that happens in society. Even when there are automated systems that can notify the authorities of irregular behavior, conversation keywords, or specific subjects who could be problematic, the number of false positives in the system is always going to be greater than the real problems you’re trying to catch. The world is full of a variety of conversations that makes monitoring all of them an imprecise effort at best.
  2. Attention Drifted Towards Innocent Ones: Even if the data gathered through surveillance creates a conclusive suspicion of conduct for the targeted person, there may not be a guarantee that the individual is guilty. When we increase the amount of coverage that’s available in society, then we begin to restrict the rights of those who don’t deserve security interventions. We have already seen innocent people being placed on watch lists, having their lives placed underneath the microscope of an investigation, and it occurs with ever-fewer pieces of evidence that back up the scope of what is happening.

In conclusion, these government surveillance pros and cons go beyond the idea that such an action would provide justice for all at the cost of having zero privacy.

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Government Surveillance: Pros and Cons. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 24, 2024, from
“Government Surveillance: Pros and Cons.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
Government Surveillance: Pros and Cons. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Feb. 2024].
Government Surveillance: Pros and Cons [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2024 Feb 24]. Available from:
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