Government Surveillance

What exactly does the government look for when monitoring people’s Google searches, and why is is that they even are looking at Google searches?

Primary Materials

Throughout my research, I came across many different things to help answer my research question, but there were few that were most important: determining what Google is, an article on Fox News, and the Patriot Act . The article on Fox News I found is called “FBI 'Secretly Spying' on Google Users, Company Reveals” and it does a great job of explaining how much access the government has on monitoring searches made on Google. Honestly, the government did use to monitor Google secretly, but now thanks to negotiations between Google and the government, Google finally has it to where it will be revealed to them when the government has received requests for the data they are inquiring about. So even though in the past the government was being sneaky and nosy about monitoring Google, it is not like that anymore. They have made it clear that they are only monitoring Google for safety purposes. Richard Salgado, Google’s legal director of law enforcement and information security, himself was quoted: “People don’t always use our services for good, and it’s important that law enforcement be able to investigate illegal activity.” He, too, agrees that the government needs to have access to monitoring people and their internet activity for the safety of the people. The Patriot Act of 2001 is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001 in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th. The act reduced restrictions in law enforcement agencies’ gathering of intelligence with the United States. The whole purpose of the act is to deter and punish terrorist attacks not only in the United States, but all over the world. This act helped prove my case because it is making it clear that the government’s sole intentions of monitoring Google searches are only to further help keep the people safe.

Although this video is about the Canadian government, it does a great job of proving my point on how people view this situation. They think that it is an invasion of privacy and that the government is being "nosy" when in fact they are only doing for the safety of the people. As one person in the video said, "if you aren't a criminal, you have nothing to worry about." The government is not trying to butt into people's personal lives at all, they are simply trying to keep everyone safe and things throughout the country running smoothly. They only monitor Google and the internet to catch those people who are being dangerous and illegal.

So What?

This topic is more than likely something that not many American citizens have thought about in depth, or maybe not at all. Therefore I am researching this topic to help bring more attention to the subject for a few different reasons. It is important for people to understand why the government monitors Internet searches because we don’t want people to think that this is an invasion of privacy. We need to make sure they do this simply for safety reasons. If there are scary people out there who are searching things that could potentially be dangerous then the government needs to know about it before it becomes a problem. An example of this is someone doing a Google search on how to make explosives because they plan to go blow up a school. Well since the government can see this search, they can then more carefully watch that person’s future searches and monitor their activity to prevent their plan for destruction. The government is only being “nosy” to ensure every citizen’s safety.


Meredith Whitehurst

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