1-1 Discussion: Make Your Case

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated…

— Amendment 4 of the United States Constitution

By most standards, spying is considered to be an invasion of privacy and independence. Teenagers rebel against parents searching through their personal belongings. Employees bristle at the thought of their employers watching them while on the job. And many have qualms about social media entities gathering information on search habits and preferences. While the law has established that parents and employers have the right to gather information on cell phones or computers depending on ownership and usage, things are not so clear when it comes to whether social media entities can gather information and what these entities can do with this information once obtained. Who “owns” the information shared on a personal social media page? What level of responsibility for monitoring and reporting does the organization possess? Should it matter if the person posting the information is a U.S. citizen? Should the safety of our citizens outweigh the right to privacy on social media pages? In other words, is using social media to spy, or gather information, acceptable if it is done to keep our citizens safe?

Take a position. Do you agree or disagree that using social media to spy or gather information should be allowed if it is done to keep our citizens safe?

First, title your initial post either “Using social media to spy or gather information should be allowed” or “Using social media to spy or gather information should not be allowed.”

Then, using the information gained in this module, make your case. When is it (or isn’t it) acceptable to use social media to spy or gather information? Are there instances when using social media to spy or gather information is always acceptable? Are there instances where using social media to spy or gather information is never acceptable? Do the ends justify the means? Is the outcome of protecting our nation more important than infringing on privacy within these platforms? Are there types of spying with social media that should not be used? If so, why? If not, why?

In your response to your peers, consider how well they justified their positions, making use of available resources. Consider the following questions in your response posts:

Did they support their position convincingly using appropriate resources?
Which of their points make the most sense to you, even if you made a case for the opposing viewpoint?

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