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Surveillance Do's & Don'ts

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

Surveillance is the act of monitoring and collecting information about individuals or groups, often for the purpose of detecting and preventing criminal activity or protecting national security. There are many different surveillance tactics that can be used, including electronic surveillance (such as wiretapping or the use of surveillance cameras), physical surveillance (such as following someone in person), and the use of informants.

One of the most well-known cases of surveillance in recent history is the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program that was revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. This program involved the collection of vast amounts of data from electronic communications, including phone calls and emails, without the knowledge or consent of the individuals being monitored. The revelations about this program sparked a debate about the balance between national security and individual privacy.

Another notable case of surveillance is the FBI's COINTELPRO program, which was active from the 1950s to the 1970s. This program was used to surveil and disrupt political organizations that the FBI deemed to be a threat to national security, including civil rights groups and anti-war activists. This program was eventually exposed and shut down, but it remains a controversial example of government overreach in the realm of surveillance.

When it comes to surveillance, it is important to be aware of the do's and don'ts. Some things to keep in mind include:


  • Be aware of your rights as a citizen, and understand what types of surveillance are legal and what are not.

  • Be aware of the potential risks and benefits of surveillance, and consider them carefully when making decisions about surveillance.


  • Don't engage in surveillance without a valid legal reason or without the knowledge and consent of those being monitored.

  • Don't use surveillance to discriminate against or harass individuals based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristic.

In conclusion, surveillance is a powerful tool that can be used to protect national security and prevent crime, but it must be used responsibly and within the bounds of the law. It's important to be aware of the surveillance tactics, past cases, and to follow the do's and don'ts of surveillance to ensure that it is used ethically and in a manner that respects the rights of individuals.



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