It is important to look at surveillance in the correct way, as an inanimate idea. Surveillance is but a tool used by entities in order to collect data about whoever is being surveilled. Thus a mistrust of surveillance lies fundamentally in the mistrust of authority and the powers delegated to it. My first primary argument is the importance of a social contract. The very idea of a government in a society is a trade off, where citizens give up certain rights in exchange for security and stability provided by the government. It is necessary to give up certain rights in order to live in a society with a government. Putting aside infringement on citizens privacy, there is no denying that when it comes to purely catching illicit activity, surveillance is extremely effective. Therefore the evils of privacy infringement need to be weighed against the good given by the surveillance. When considering the internet, the idea that privacy is an expectation falls apart when under scrutiny. Considering the internet as a public exchange of ideas makes it no different from a public plaza, where a conversation does not have the same expectation of privacy that it does in someone’s house.
My second argument is that the shortcomings of people should not be put unto the tools that they use. Fixing the government and its many problematic areas is an important problem, one which we will be solving until the end of time. Privacy abuse is the misuse of the information that is provided by surveillance. Therefore there is a large potential for abuse. However the government and law enforcement is already extremely powerful, and yet most people are okay with police officers carrying weapons, and the government controlling the military, whose resources are practically unlimited. Trusting higher authority with those tools is possible, and thus it is possible to use surveillance to benefit all.
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