Ever since I was a kid, procrastination has been an awful habit of mine. Whether its waiting until the last minute on an assignment or turning it in well after the deadline, I’ve done it all. So for this weeks observation, I decided to look outside the classroom to see if any of my fellow classmates share my love for procrastination based on their posting times for the course blog. Because the “responders” often comment on posts, it was difficult to track their posting times. Thus, I only looked at the posting times for the “readers” the past 4 weeks and the “observers” the past 3 weeks (my group not included). According to our syllabus, the due time for the readers is 10pm on Monday before class and the due time for the observers is 5pm on Friday. The posts fall into 5 categories: 12+ hours before the deadline, 12-7 hours before, 6-4 hours before, 3-0 hours before, and past the deadline. The data is as follows:
According to this data, it can be assumed that the Reader groups share my addiction to pushing assignments off, as a majority of the groups posted between 3-0 hours before the deadline. The Observers however, seem to favor posting past the 5pm deadline. This could be due to the fact that the assignment is due on Friday afternoon and the weekend is an inevitable force drawing students away from work. Nonetheless, it was interesting to learn how the posting times differed between the Readers and the Observers over the past few weeks.
In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the US government had never been so exposed in failing to protect the country. The NSA, namely, admitted that they had failed in their intelligence gathering abilities and it was evident that surveillance needed to change in order to prevent another terrorist event from happen again. In the article published by “The Guardian,” the authors claim that the strong increase in surveillance can be credited to the 9/11 attacks and the major increase in cell phone and internet usage the past 10 years.
Enter Edward Snowden in 2013, who exposed the “unethical” actions of the NSA by releasing classified government information to the public. Amongst the documents that Snowden released, the US government was exposed for spying on its citizens using unethical methods, such as partnering with large communication companies and hacking online encryption codes meant to protect US citizens. Snowden rationale was that, “harming people isn’t my goal. Transparency is.”
So where does the finger pointing begin? As a government employee, Snowden was certainly exposed to classified information that, like much government information, was not meant to be seen by the public. So by releasing said information, he violated the obligation to his government and his nation. However, Snowden also exposed the NSA for, what he believed to be, questionable surveillance activity and gave attention to the questions: How much does the NSA know about our lives and have they taken domestic surveillance too far since 9/11?
The reason why I would favor the latter part of the previous argument is because of what the government could “hold over our heads” based on information they have collected. In the interview with Ladar Levison, Levison states that “a lot of people have nothing to hide” but “by collecting all of this information and making it only accessible to a small group of people, we are creating a world that is that close to becoming a totalitarian state.”
Nonetheless, Edward Snowden has created a near revolution that merge together elements of civil liberties, national security, and government surveillance power. Perhaps Snowden’s wrongdoing has sparked a change in the way we think about government surveillance that otherwise may have not come about for another couple of years.