Essay On Democracy And Surveillance

1174 Words5 Pages
Democracy and surveillance are contradictory. While the first attracts, the second repels. Democracy signifies all that is laudable and reassuring about governance; surveillance is regarded as a sinister force that threatens personal liberties. Surveillance is often a violation of privacy and has been opposed by civil liberty groups and activists. Liberal democracies have laws that restrict the governments’ use of surveillance, usually restricted to circumstances where public safety is endangered. Democracy involves a system of open procedures for making decisions in which all members have an equal right to speak and have their opinions heard. Democracy is about practices designed to ensure the fair and equitable operation of participatory decision-making. It recognizes the interests of the majority while protecting the concerns of the minority. Democracy lends scope for open discussion between competing views. Democracies are accountable to the media, legislature and citizens. Accountability implies that citizens need access to a range of information about actions of their representatives and a free press to assess governance. Legislation on…show more content…
Security protects democracy. Political systems sometimes may have to take exceptional and emergency measures to ensure its survival. Surveillance may have to be intensified. That may in turn require sacrificing certain individual freedoms. Critics have expressed concern over the extent to which surveillance affects democratic life. The contemporary situation is more dangerous because of the threat of nuclear terrorism, data collection and the creation of data bank, the unprecedented development of “traceability” through a digital database, the globalization of mobility, of markets, of the network of states and technology. These are very sensitive surveillance matters for a modern democratic society. Recent technology has also changed the scale and reach of
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