Date of Award


Document Type



Political Science

First Advisor

Martyn de Bruyn, Ph.D.


There is a continual debate between individuals who attempt to measure the individual’s right to privacy against the government’s right to know as an exchange to provide for the security of all citizens. Questions that demand an answer are whether the individual’s right to privacy outweighs the government’s duty to provide security; and if security is considered more important, can there even be a right to privacy. When questioning the right to privacy and state surveillance, there are three key goals. First, to investigate whether the human right to privacy should exist, considering the continued threat of terrorist attacks and public safety. Second, to question if state surveillance both actual and imagined are the fundamental means for governing state population, and individual citizens. Lastly, to assess if surveillance technology and state surveillance can be both a force of good and equal source of harm in society. To illustrate this debate, the focal point of this paper will be centered on power relationships in society as expressed through language (e.g., The Constitution) and practice (Laws). Therefore, this Honors Thesis Project surveys the historical background of surveillance technology and how the global surveillance industry uses its power to justify its decision-making in crisis's while violating Americans' civil liberties,human rights, and inflicting harm.