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    Government Surveillance

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    In "In Praise of Big Brother: Why We Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love (Some) Government Surveillance", James Stacey Taylor argues for the optimistic conclusion that, with the right legal and procedural safeguards, large-scale governance surveillance would have many positive consequences. What are Taylor's best reasons for rejecting the pessimistic worry that such surveillance could lead to an "Orwellian nightmare" that Taylor discusses at the beginning and end of his article? Do you find these considerations persuasive? Why or why not?

    Please see the attached pdf documents to read James Stacy Taylor's paper.

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    Solution Preview

    So how can we answer these questions? It's difficult to summarize the argument because it relies on a play on words. The argument goes like this:

    Since, in different sorts of trials, it is OK for the state to demand evidence for past events (in the form of oral or written testimony), it is, therefore, morally permissible for the state to demand access to current events.

    Since privacy and right are relative terms, they do not exist absolutely. Since they do not exist absolutely, the state need not respect them under conditions where crime might be stopped. I do not believe that the author is serious. What he's doing is showing that reason can be used to justify any and all sorts of political arguments, regardless of their absurdity. That's the only way to make sense out of it. ...

    Solution Summary

    The persuasive considerations in government surveillance is determined.