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Word Count: 1,598
During the past decade our society has become immersed in a debate about the role of electronic surveillance in our democracy Revolutionary changes in our communications infrastructure brought about by the amazing growth of the Internet and the ever-increasing digitization of information pose unprecedented threats to personal security and privacy An increasing amount of sensitive information is now circulating in electronic form including electronic mail E-mail FAX messages telephone conversations fund transfers trade secrets and health records The same technological advances that have brought enormous benefits to humankind but also make us more vulnerable to unwanted and potentially dangerous snooping No Doubt we are in the midst of the most unsettling period in the technological revolution For many the technology itself is unfamiliar and frightening but most importantly the privacy problems posed are so different from those that have come before there is no framework to deal with them Technology is fast The law whether formed in tiny increments by individual cases or by the cumbersome legislative process is slow As a result there is simply no comprehensive body of law established to deal with all of the privacy concerns arising in the digital age The governments only plea to assert some legislation has come in attempts to censor the Internet The government feels that if nothing is done to censor the Internet its ability to fight crime and prevent terrorism will be devastated But in fact in the past decade 83 percent of all wiretaps and other forms of government surveillance have been authorized in connection with vice crimes like gambling and drug offenses http wwwwashingtonpostcomwpsrvpoliticsspecialencryption encryptionhtm This censorship of the Internet is only a threat to destroy its freelance atmosphere which would destroy the only worldwide place which people from all countries races or religions can speak their mind with out being reprimanded for what they say or how they choose to say it By nature the Internet is
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