“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” Ben Franklin, 1759
The quote said by Benjamin Franklin in 1759 describes the amount of freedom and safety one deserves when willing to give up basic freedoms for a limited amount of safety. The people who want security often give up their freedom to do this and the security given is often very limited.
The claim made by Benjamin Franklin outlining the disastrous effects of people giving up their freedom for security is correctly portrayed because in order to provide security, the government must deny certain freedoms such as privacy and freedom of speech. In America, dozens of threats to security has made US citizens more willing to give up their freedom and basic rights in order to regain safety. Liberty Island is one of the most heavily surveilled areas in America, “Dozens of cameras record hundreds of hours of video daily, a volume that strains the monitoring capability of guards,” (www.popularmechanics.com). Even with all of the cameras, there are not enough monitors to view the footage. Without having all of the cameras watched, many crimes go unnoticed as there is no one to see it. But the hundreds of people are seen, and most are unaware of the cameras recording their every move. The recordings are often viewed as an invasion of their privacy, but that is what is supposedly necessary in order to maintain security. However, security cameras have provided safety to the people by helping law enforcement to catch criminals. Sometimes, security footage has been the only way to identify suspects. BBC News states, “The Boston Marathon bombings suspects were quickly identified after investigators picked them out on CCTV footage” (www.bbc.com). The Boston Marathon bombing case was able to be quickly solved due to the footage caught of the suspects. Without the footage, the case may have gone unsolved, and the suspects could have committed another dangerous crime. At first glance it appears security can be obtained through materials such as CCTV cameras. One cannot deny that they have helped aid in police investigations and caught some criminals. But this interpretation raises a fundamental question, how many people are negatively affected by the increased security? CCTV cameras catch criminals sometimes, but often take away people’s right to privacy, and can result in wrongly accused suspects. The negative effects greatly outweigh the benefits of added security, and reduced freedom. Benjamin Franklin’s quote elucidating the undeserved liberty and freedom of one who easily gives up their freedom for security, is strengthened by the examples shown in modern-day life.