SEC 522_Advanced Surveillance and Countersurveillance – Case Study Position Paper
Length: 8 – 10 pages (not including title and references pages)
Due: Week 10 (13 May)
Purpose: The attacks of September 11, 2001 challenged our country in new ways. As a result there has
been a nearly continuous debate on the need for surveillance versus the Constitutional aspects of the
4th Amendment of the Bill of Rights. The purpose of this assignment is to identify a specific,
contemporary case where a person or group’s right to privacy was at issue and within the context of
that case and what you have learned in class, take a position on the issue and support that position in an
informed way. Below is the case I have tasked you.
Rachael – in your first paper you used Amazon’s Alexa as your example. You explored some aspects of
conduct that may be in violation of the constitutional rights to privacy. Your assertion is that a voice
activated sensor may hold the answer to why a person died in a hot tub. However, while the
government is prosecuting, they did not commit the violation of capturing the data; a sensor is what
captured it. Now, if you were to have described how sensors used by the US government were to have
captured personal information in violation of such constitutional rights, we would be able to move
forward US v. Jones is an example but I wouldn’t use it for final submission. You are to submit an
explanation detailing a court case whereby, the government collected data on a group or person in
violation of the Fourth Amendment. Pls stay on task.
Description: Introduction (1/2 – 1 page): Provide an introduction that begins generally and concludes
with a thesis statement that narrows a reader’s focus to the case you intend to discuss.
Thesis Statement (1 – 2 sentences): In your thesis statement indicate your position on the issue
(whether or not you think what happened to the person/group is justified based on your knowledge).
Case Summary (2 – 3 pages): Then, go on to summarize the actual case. Provide enough information so a
reader understands the issues, but do not provide more than 3 pages of summary.
Position Summary (4 – 6 pages): in subsequent paragraphs, explain your position and provide evidence
to support your position (this should be the longer, substantive part of your paper). As you support your
position, you may want to consider the questions below as they may inform your writing.
As technology advances in capability and decreases in cost, should we as a society reduce our
expectation of privacy?
Should the security of the nation be more important than the individual expectation of privacy?
Should our personal information be made publicly available to assist in tracking security threats?
Should wiretaps be legal and commonplace?
Should government agencies be given cart blanch to collect as they see fit to protect us? Why or
How does the PATRIOT Act come into play with the case you identified?
How will hostile actors/terrorists utilize and counter technology, laws, procedures, and public
notions of the right of privacy?
Recommendation (1 – 2 pages): add a recommendation section where you advise decision-makers on
how they might approach the expectation of personal privacy when there is a threat to collective
security. Make sure any recommendation is consistent with the position and supportive evidence
presented in the body of the paper.
Conclusion/Summary (1 – 2 pages): Finally conclude the paper with a summary of the logical reasoning
you presented within the paper. I do expect you to take an informed position based on what you know
and provide research-based evidence that generally supports your position.
Audience: A group of U.S. citizens and policy/decision makers who have interests and concerns about
privacy and national security.
Sources: Please provide at least four to five different sources to explain your case and support your
Language/Format: Present your paper in a professional, academic way that addresses the designated
audience. Be sure to present well-developed paragraphs that are free of grammatical error and that
convey a logical flow of information. Please use the H-PU APA Guidelines for Academic Papers and the
APA Example Paper Template (located under Course Resources) to develop your paper.
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