The End of the Right to Privacy

17 Jun

The End of the Right to Privacy

I am finding myself on the liberal side of the argument against NSA surveillance of every Verizon phone call in the world (other providers are on this bandwagon, too). I am also siding with the liberals about the direct line that NSA allegedly has into the servers for Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, Skype, and several other Internet companies (the system called Prism).

What is worrying is just what Eugene Robinson is saying here. Our young people have had their privacy invaded so much during their lifetimes that they have never developed the concept of privacy. Their response to an older person’s objections to this is, “What is the issue? What is an invasion of privacy anyway? What is privacy?”

Used to be, as Mr. Robinson points out, that people who kept their noses clean could presume on being able to control the information they released about themselves and the audience to whom they released it. Not so much anymore.

It is not so much the idea that our information can be obtained without our consent. I have a fairly loud voice when I get passionate about something and am therefore sure I have been overheard during discussions in restaurants by people to whom I would not ordinarily have conveyed my viewpoint.

That is not the point here. Our information is out there. It will occasionally get to recipients whom we did not intend to have it. Sometimes they will even be bad people who want to misrepresent what we have said or to steal our identity.

The point is that, never before in the history of humanity, have we had an agency paid for by our taxes that is collecting all of our information (our every electronic thought) like a vacuum cleaner sucking it up, then storing it forever to be used in whatever way they would like to use it.

I blog. I am an open book in many ways.

But I would like the choice of what to reveal when. Ya know?


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