Raven Symoné

Raven Symoné

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Goodbye, Privacy

Jake Nusynowitz
AP Language 
Ms. Howard
22 September 2013
Goodbye, Privacy
     After the successful terrorist attack on the Empire State Building that killed a devastating 2,000 civilians in 2020, the TSA is cracking down on airport security even more than in 2001. Say goodbye to what was once thought as an “inconvenience”, and hello to three hour security procedures for every traveler consisting of: a full-body inspection, X-Ray procedures, extreme restrictions on what is allowed in-flight such as no electronics of any sort in carry-on bags, and trained eyes watching for any possible suspicious behavior at all times. Flying is no longer a pleasant experience, causing many to turn to travel by car or train. The skies have been closed down, restricting all AirCar travel until the United States’ security is ensured, causing traffic from Highway 1 in California, rolling up and down the West Coast, to Route 1 in Florida, moving north to New Brunswick, Canada. The TSA has no comment on this, except that it is a “necessary precaution to further ensure the safety of the American people”, said at a press conference days after the horrifying attack. Riots by the American people are forming, demanding their “basic rights to privacy and confidentiality as explained in The Fourth Amendment”. The eruption of this debate is causing a separation of citizens, much similar to the events leading up to the Revolutionary War. Will our country’s lack of compliance to one’s basic rights lead to a full-fledged war? Will the growing lack of privacy cause commercial air travel to go out of business? As air travel numbers dwindle, will what many believe is necessary to resort back to (and what seems as prehistoric) known as ground travel become inevitable? 
  Airports have completely re-envisioned the idea of efficiency through travel, getting one across the country in less than 5 hours. But many people, including government-appointed, believe that one particular and hated procedure all airport customers go through, known as the security checkpoint, is unnecessary and a breach on ones basic rights to privacy: ‘"Every inch of our person has become fair game for government thugs posing as 'security' as we travel around the country," says the online petition supporting Sen. Paul's bill to eliminate the agency.’ (Kenny). As each year comes and goes, it feels as if airport security gets increasingly intrusive. Honestly, it’s hard to imagine a time when airport security wasn’t intrusive. It’s easy to believe that in 2020, airport security will be almost impossible to handle. And, as much as Americans would like to believe the contrary, another terrorist attack similar to the devastating attacks on September 11 is inevitable. 
Some, patriotic suck-ups, disagree with the fact that TSA is violating one’s personal rights, believing that the fourth amendment doesn’t relate to anything the TSA does. "[T]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” (Kenny).
It seems that our only real solution is to completely eliminate the TSA entirely, and let competing commercial airlines deal with security individually. This way, people can decide the amount of protection they want in the air. Even taking this idea into consideration, it is clear that the government will never make this a reality, putting our personal privacy at stake. The harsh truth is that, the government would never lower the amount of security the TSA brings, as the scare of terrorism increases each and every day. Even after $56 billion federal investment over ten years, flying is still not as safe as it was before the September 11 attacks. As new weaponry is invented, and sneakier methods of violence become available, the risk cannot be taken lightly. But even with that in mind, is there no trust in the American people?
The truth in all of this is that, even in the advanced year of 2013, America is still not used to the physical privacy that is violated through TSA. In a world with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it is so simple to find everything out about a person in a matter of minutes. The idea of “privacy” no longer exists in that social way in which it used to. The idea of privacy socially and technologically is not a “confidential” issue today, but rather physical privacy has become a fragile topic that today’s Americans have trouble coping with. The idea of going through a machine that, essentially, takes a picture of your naked body, shakes America.
The unchangeable truth lies with Americans. Although we ask ourselves, as if we have a choice, “will we continue to let airports violate us?” when our opinions really don’t matter. Our fighting, protesting, and demands won’t change the fact that privacy must be violated for the “safety” of “our country” . So we must hold on to the privacy we still have today, because, as the years go by, our privacy will dwindle. America, say goodbye to privacy, because it’s not coming back. 

Works Cited

Kenny, Jack. "Ten Years of TSA: Ten Years after TSA's Inception, a Congressional Report Found That It's Wasteful, Inefficient, and Doesn't Stop Terrorist Threats, Though It Has a Vast Bankroll and Intrusive Powers." The New American 28.12 (2012). Questia School. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.


  1. Jake, this is a very well thought out and well written article on the subject of airport security. I love your opening: it's extremely creative and does a great job of providing a "hook" for the reader, you emulate the "Goodbye, Miami" opening very well, casting a look into the future of security and privacy in the year 2020. It is ironic, however, that the American people, in an age of social media, have a problem with their privacy being violated in the context of an airport, as most people have no problem posting the events in their daily lives on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I would think, that as a whole, Americans are a very public people, and that airport security affects them not because it violates their privacy in an uncomfortable way, but because it is a nuisance, a long and tiring obstacle that stands in the way of a pleasant flying experience. It is because TSA is unable to be efficient with their security process that most people are annoyed and violated, not because they peek into bags or scan bodies and compromise privacy.

  2. Whenever I go into an airport, the last thing I want to do is have my belongings analyzed and scrutinized by complete strangers. That being said, I feel that airport security is a necessary evil; you said so yourself that "another terrorist attack similar to the devastating attacks on September 11 is inevitable." and to me, being an American, if ensuring my safety and the safety of other passengers means dealing with the inconvenience of being herded and inspected like cattle by TSA workers, then I will bite my lip and go through the security checkpoints without complaint. To be quite frank, if you have nothing to hide, why is it such a big deal that the TSA know that too?

    I love how you tied this into social media. In this day and age, no one has secrets, not with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media outlets controlling our lives. This was a fantastic piece and I really enjoyed it!

  3. The right to privacy has not only been abused in the airport sphere, but also in the general virtual world of computers, email, internet, cameras, and audio recording. People have a false sense of privacy and security in their homes, but the scary thing is that in this technically savvy world of Facebook and smart phones, the government can access nearly anything about our lives for the sake of ‘national security’. But what ever happened to our security, our privacy. I completely agree with Gaby, people are constantly posting everything about their lives, for the entire world to see, so it is funny to be hearing arguments over ‘privacy’, when they have no reservations about their own. I don’t think privacy is coming back, I think people will have to ‘adapt or die’ because it is becoming increasingly difficult to hide in this world, to reinvent yourself across the globe. The virtual sphere has become a public sphere and I doubt it’s heading toward a private one. The Internet is meant to connect the world, to share information, to be publicly accessible to all, it is not meant for keeping secrets, but for sharing them. Well Done Jake, this is a really compelling argument.

  4. I agree with Gaby--you really captured the type of hook used in "Goodbye Miami"!