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Persuasion, Politics, and Propaganda

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Submitted By Teneal0510
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Persuasion, Politics and Propaganda
Teneal Rusnak
COM/400
September 9, 2014
Margaret Garberina, Ph.D.

Persuasion, Politics and Propaganda
An issue that seems to raise some concerns in our society would be the National Security Agency (NSA) not only spying on people in our country but also other countries by wiretapping and keeping surveillance on certain people. There have been a number of different laws that have been instated that help to protect our privacy such as the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Acts of 1968 which acknowledged that there were extensive amounts of wiretapping that seemed to be going on without any sort of legal sanctions and without the consent of anyone involved. With this law it helped to protect innocent people and stated that wiretapping should only be allowed only when authorized by the court and should therefore remain under the supervision of the court throughout its duration. However, in 1968 our technology was not as advanced as it is now so this law went through many significant changes over the next forty plus years. By 1986 a new amendment had been written in response to the ever-changing technological advances. The 1968 law only protected individuals who communicated through telephone calls. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 took it a step further to focus primarily on any email that would be transmitted as well as stored in any type of storage device.
The biggest improvement came when the Patriot Act of 2001 was instated in response to the September 11th attacks. This new law expanded the reach of the government into electronic communications. Search warrant privileges were expanded so that law enforcement could access electronic information on a computer or voice mail through a warrant rather then using a wiretap (Morgan, 2014). Unfortunately, this law was passed during a time when our society was fearful of threats of terrorism and because of that, this act may have given the government more rights to take advantage of their authority.
Intentionally Persuasive After reviewing an article entitled, “Wiretapping laws: [Chicago Final Edition],” the reporter Barbara Struthers states the differences between a democracy and an autocracy. In a democracy, a society and its people have a very extensive knowledge about government’s affairs, whereas the government has very limited knowledge to its citizens and their affairs. In an autocracy, a society and its people have very limited or little knowledge of the governments affairs, while the government has extensive knowledge of the citizens and people in the society. When the founding fathers were fighting in the revolutionary war it was to not be a part of an autocracy anymore. However, with the NSA tapping into millions of telephone conversations in our country and government insisting that they give us knowledge of what is going on is completely untrue. Barbara Struthers also goes as far to say that this type of activity or behavior is one that shouldn’t be found in the United States and it is something that we would expect to see from a country such as the Soviet Union, North Korea or even Iran. Although the laws in our country may seem like a hassle to deal with due to the government trying to keep tabs on supposed “terrorists” within our country they must obey and observe these laws no matter what (Struthers, 2006). This type of article is intentionally persuasive due to the reporter putting out the facts and really getting the readers engaged on what is going on with the country. She is even going as far as saying that the President and the government are intentionally keeping secrets from the people in order to keep them in the dark about any issues that may be going on with our society.
Completely Objective In the article entitled “Wiretapping oversight: [HOME EDITION],” it raises the issue about the NSA spying under the Bush administration many years before it was even publicized. During meetings between Congress and with the then House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, she prompted that she was uncomfortable with the very limited amount of access and details that congress was able to obtain about the NSA spying on the citizens of the United States. When our society talks about the NSA and their surveillance capabilities most would assume that they only target individuals that are thought to be in contact with any terrorist groups or people. However, that does not seem to be the case due to the fact that under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act it states that when emergency or dire situations occur the government has the right to eavesdrop on certain individuals for up to 72 hour before having to obtain any type of warrant. The NSA is going beyond those 72 hours though, and including a much wider range of electronic communication searches, which is completely illegal (Wiretapping oversight: [HOME EDITION], 2006). Due to the fact that Congress has little or no interest to fight the President and challenge him as to why these illegal acts are occurring, it is unlikely that this will be resolved anytime in the near future.
Subtly Persuasive After reviewing a final article entitled, “Warrantless Wiretapping: [Palm Beach Edition],” the reporter Brandon Scherff claims that due to the Bush agenda and their critical use of electronic surveillance on United States citizens, it should have been the “wake-up call” that our society needed. After continuously promising to uphold and protect the Constitution, President Bush’s decisions about how our electronic surveillance is being used are the exact opposite of what he claimed he would do (Scherff, 2007). Understanding that there is a war on terrorism and perhaps in some way the President thought it in his best interest that eavesdropping on people would be the easiest way to go about getting these terrorists, it is still unethical and even unconstitutional. As a society we have been instilled that the laws and rules that govern our country are for the best interest of everyone and they will protect and help us throughout our lives. However, when a commander and chief of our country decides that these liberties can be somehow molded into the governments own ideas it goes against everything that our founding fathers stood for.
Differences in Articles After going through each of the articles reviewed there are a few differences between the objective and the persuasive news articles. In the persuasive news article it gives the reader the differences of an autocracy and a democracy and tells them that we fought for a democracy during the revolutionary war. There was a reason why we as a people wanted to have a democracy instead of an autocracy because we wanted to always know what was going on in our government instead of knowing very little of what they were doing and the government knowing all too much about us. The NSA has the ability to tap into anyone’s phone, emails or mail and we may not even know that they are watching which is a scary thing to think about. In the objective article it gives people the facts about the NSA and that they are able to eavesdrop in emergency situations for up to 72 hours but after that time they need some kind of warrant to continue. But because Congress does not feel that the electronic surveillance is a big deal they will not challenge the President about his decisions about continuing surveillance on supposed “terrorists” or even regular people.
After reviewing the persuasive and informative news articles the key differences that stood out were that in the persuasive article we were given the reporters opinion on the topic of wiretapping in our country. The reporter was very adamant about how they thought the President was wrong and what steps needed to be taken in order to correct this behavior. Ultimately in the informative article it states the information that we were given about wiretapping without the reporters input about the specific topic. If one was strictly trying to find out just the facts about a particular topic this would be the best way to go since there are no opinions given.
Conclusion
When it comes down to the issue of the NSA eavesdropping on people throughout our country we have limited hard facts but we have many opinions throughout various newspapers and magazines about what is actually going on. Political persuasion throughout the Internet, papers and magazines can lead anyone to become vulnerable in a sense. Due to the amount of public opinions through television and radio it’s sometimes hard to produce your own thoughts about a topic without other people trying to persuade you a different way. In order to really persuade readers, reporters will mention the lack of government support towards the people and keep many things secret when it comes down to our security. By stating a possible fact and then concluding their own opinions on what is going on in our government, this leaves the reader to lean more towards the opinions of the reporter rather then trying to form their own opinions about a subject. While most of these articles are effective in their own ways the one that seems to stand out the most is when the reporter discusses how our founding fathers fought for a democracy in our country and wanted to be in a government where we knew exactly what was going on without the government interfering with our personal lives.
In order to reduce our vulnerability to political persuasion we can learn to form our own opinions about specific topics that are introduced to us. An extreme version would be to block out any television or radio newscasts that give opinion based news such as Fox news. Also if we made it a point to reduce the amount of junk that we were exposed to on a daily basis on the Internet that would be another great way to reduce ones vulnerability. It’s hard especially within today’s society to strictly be given the facts and facts alone without someone interfering and forcing their opinions on the public. We as Americans have the ability to gather information about a specific topic and form our own personal opinions this is our right. However, it seems as though the government is taking a different approach on what we should and should not know which is not only the wrong way to go about this but it is also unconstitutional as well. We must remember that this country was founded on our right to know what is going on with our government and for them to keep us in the dark is going against our liberties.

References
Morgan, S. (2014). Federal Wiretap Law. Retrieved September 10, 2014, from eHow: http://www.ehow.com/about_6318636_federal-wiretap-law.html

Scherff, B. (2007, November 11). Warrantless Wiretapping: [Palm Beach Edition]. South Florida Sun- Sentinel , p. 4.

Struthers, B. J. (2006, August 15). Wiretapping laws: [Chicago Final Edition]. The
Chicago Tribune , p. 14.

Wiretapping oversight: [HOME EDITION]. (2006, May 7). Los Angeles Times , p. 4.…...

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