What are some things that are not legally wrong, but that a person would not want to have uncovered by random government surveillance?peronal privacy and government surveillance

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

People who believe that the government should have more power to conduct surveillance (through things such as GPS trackers) often say that people who have not done anything legally wrong should not worry about this surveillance.  The attitude is that if a person has done nothing wrong, they can’t be harmed by government surveillance.  However, there are many things that people do that they would not be punished for criminally but which they, nevertheless, would not want known.

Of course, many of these things have to do with sex.  People do not get prosecuted for cheating on their spouses, but they would certainly not want it to be known if they are cheating.  There is nothing illegal about a teacher, for example, looking at pornography in the privacy of their own home, but the teacher might lose the faith of parents and/or students at their school if they are found to have used pornography.

There are also other types of things that a person might not want known.  A person might not want it to be known if they are seeing a psychiatrist.  They might not want anyone to know that they are going to a casino.  There are any number of things that we do that are not illegal but that are also not the sorts of things that we want everyone to know about.

It is partly because of these sorts of things that people do not want random government surveillance to be carried out.