Midterm Project: Freedom in America: Privacy and Surveillance


My project is a physical representation of issues with a freedom that we see in America. I mostly discussed the issues concerning privacy and prevalence.

I made a painting of an American flag and the word ‘Free’ in front of the flag with a large X over it, indicating that America is supposed to be the “land of the free,” but has recently come to our knowledge that Americans is not actually free at.

There is no real freedom of speech and information. The government has all control over this matter. Journalists are not allowed to view or publish anything without governmental consent first. It is said by the First Amendment that the press has the right to publish information that the public needs to know. But the government has made it to where the press is not able to publish anything without their knowledge. The government thinks that they are protecting us from terrorism by defining our rights as citizens in America.

Theoretical Idea 1: The freedom of information.

Related Aspect Of The Phenomenon: Trevor Timm who is a co-founder of the Freedom of the Press Foundation and a TED Fellow, looks at the history of the government’s actions against individuals who like their job and right should be allowed to give exposure of crimes and injustice. He advocated for a technology that can help these people express their rights safely and anonymously. Timm defends journalists and their privilege to ownership of their own work and publication.
URL: http://www.ted.com/speakers/trevor_timm
#2 Sociological Idea: Social Movement: Our society is becoming more and more tech-savvy causing authorities to become more sophisticated in that department causing social activist to become less likely to work towards a change in culture through social media.

Related Aspect Of The Phenomenon: Internet scientist Evgeny Morozo discusses through his TED talk on how the government is destroying social activism making social media less of an effective way of change. He believes that social media sites like, Twitter and Instagram are too out in the open. He believes that the government and secret services have already developed devices and soft wear programs that allow the government to have complete overview on everything. Morozo says that there are some ways activist get around this problem. There was one example that Iranian activists have formed a site through a social work for book-lovers where they can secretly discuss their political views unnoticed.
URL: http://blog.ted.com/evgeny_morozov/

#3 Sociological Idea: Overall Power or Expression of Power: Assassination of U.S. Citizens
Related Aspect Of The Phenomenon: President Obama, just like former President George W. Bush claimed the right to order the killing of any citizen that has any form or interaction with terrorism. Administration officials have stated that the president has the ability to order any assassination upon any U.S. citizen if they are believed to be an association with terrorism. Without trial or final background checks the president can order any citizen dead if he thinks they have any association.

URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-the-united-states-still-the-land-of-the-free/2012/01/04/gIQAvcD1wP_story.html?utm_term=.c012cb02ebd5
#4 Sociological Idea: Tracking
Related Aspect Of The Phenomenon: Catherine Crump’s TED talk discussed how law enforcements are now following your every move whether it is in your home or in your car. She calls attention to the mass surveillance currently being used everywhere with public awareness and acknowledges. Crump tells her viewers more about the technology that are quietly killing the privacy of innocent people. She mostly focuses on license plate readers that at all times of the day while you are driving are taking pictures of your license plate and tracking your every move. She is trying to make it known to the public that even police departments now have the somewhat power of population surveillance.

URL: http://blog.ted.com/a-ted-fellow-on-how-law-enforcement-follows-your-movements/

#5 Sociological Idea: Spiral of Silence: Warrantless searches
Related Aspect Of The Phenomenon: The president is now able to perform warrantless searches through your whole life whether it is just a business statement or something as stupid as library notices. The government can now without any real reason do a complete search. Once something or if something is found the government can then order silence.

URL: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/09/nsa-loophole-warrantless-searches-email-calls

#6 Sociological Idea: Arbitrary Justice
Related Aspect Of The Phenomenon: Congress passed a law in 2012 stating that the federal court and government can control
an American citizen’s right to free trial. There we arguments on this law being passed because it puts a change in the overall idea of the freedoms of Americans.

URL: http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/08/opinion/smith-udall-detention-terrorists/

#7 Sociological Idea: qualitative/quantitative research
Related Aspect Of The Phenomenon: Rebecca Mackinnon is another person taking action on America’s rights with the practice of freedom of expression and privacy. She discusses in her TED talk about the future of liberty in the internet age, with how do we fight terrorism with also having an open and free internet. She believes that we can fight terrorism without sacrificing our rights as Americans.

URL: http://www.ted.com/speakers/rebecca_mackinnon
#8 Sociological Idea: Social Control
Related Aspect of the Phenomenon: The government uses viruses as weapons to control our moves on the internet. The government having full access to our everyday life is causes people to go against the laws and find secret illegal ways to go around the state. Hackers are going against the laws so that they have that real idea of being free on the internet.

URL: http://www.ted.com/speakers/mikko_hypponen
#9 Sociological Idea: Propaganda
Related Aspect Of The Phenomenon: An example of propaganda seen today was when the Department of Health and Human Service Web site was encouraging the public, during the debate over Obamacare to “state your support for health care reform”. The executive branch is using our tax dollars to try and shape our opinions. Another example is that the Department of Labor’s campaign to raise the minimum wage, which the government shuts down because they believe raising the minimum wage will eliminate some job, but the government has a web page that states “see how raising the national minimum wage will benefit American workers.”

URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/09/24/the-new-propaganda-how-the-american-government-is-trying-to-control-what-you-think/?utm_term=.86cdc3b0245e

#10 Sociological Idea: Privacy Policy
Related Aspect Of The Phenomenon: Prevalence has become so advanced that even our television in our homes is watching us. We recently learned that Samsung television is keeping an eye on us. Samsung’s internet-connected Smart TVs have a way of watching you through their voice command feature, which is suppose to be helpful when not having the remote. But to make this device of your television work it has to listen to your every word. This device isn’t just processing your words through the television, but it is also being forwarded through the internet for remote processing.

URL: http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/11/opinion/schneier-samsung-tv-listening/


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