The word privacy itself is somewhat empty because it is essentially indefinable or over definable. Each of us has our own idea of what it is. Privacy means something to everyone, there is no one to whom it means nothing. It’s because of this lack of common definition that citizens of pluralistic technologically democracy feels that they have to justify their desire for privacy & frame it as a right, but citizen of democracy don’t have to justify that desire. The government instead must justify its violation.
To refuse to claim your privacy is actually to seize it either to a government trespassing it constitutional restrain or to a private business.
There is simply no way to ignore privacy a citizen freedom are interdependent, to surrender your own privacy is really to surrender everyone’s. You might choose to give it up out of convenience or under the popular pretext privacy is only required by those who have something to hide, but saying that you don’t need or want privacy because you have nothing to hide is to assume that no one should have or could have to hide anything, including their unemployment history, health records, financial history etc.
You are assuming that no one including yourself might object to revealing to anyone information about their religious belief, political affiliation & sexual activities as casually as some people chose to reveal their music taste, movie taste, reading preferences.
“Saying that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different from saying that you don’t care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say, or you don’t care about freedom of press because you don’t read, or you don’t care about freedom of religion because you don’t believe in god, or you don’t care about the freedom to peacefully assemble because you are lazy antisocial agoraphobe” — Edward Snowden
Just because this or that freedom might not have meaning to you today, doesn’t or won’t have meaning tomorrow to you or to your family or to your neighbor or to the people who are protesting halfway across the planet, hoping to gain just a fraction of freedom from their oppressive government.
Governments around the world have always tried to convince people that mass surveillance is necessary to keep the public safe from terrorist, but instead they use this excuse to carry out illegal surveillance on innocent people, opposition leaders, allies by using program like Prism, X-Keyscore,Dragonfly,Kingfish etc
President of Brazil Ms. Dilma Rousseff she was one of the target of U.S intelligence surveillance. Her email was read, and she spoke at the United Nations Headquarters, and she said
“If there is no right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore, there can be no effective democracy”
Privacy is the building block of our democracies.
Now you will be thinking, is surveillance wrong? Some surveillance is good, but mass surveillance is wrong. For ex, if a law enforcement is trying to catch a murderer, or they are trying to catch a drug lord or trying to prevent a school shooting & they have suspects & they have leads then it’s perfectly fine for them to tap suspect’s phone & intercept his/her internet communications. I am not arguing that at all, but that’s not what program like prism are about. They are not about doing surveillance on people that they have reason to suspect of some wrong doings . They are about doing surveillance on people they know are innocent. These programs are about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They are about Power.
Don’t let anybody tell you that we knew this already. We did not know this already. We didn’t know prism, we didn’t know X-keyscore ,we didn’t know Dragonfly & on & on . But now we do.
What we didn’t know these three letter and four letter agencies can go extreme such as infiltrating standardization bodies to sabotage encryption algorithm on purpose. What does that mean is that you take something which is so secure that if you use that algorithm to encrypt one file , nobody can decrypt that file even if you take every single computer on the planet just to decrypt that one file it’s going to take millions of years. You take something which is that good & then weaken it on purpose, making all of us less secure as an end result.
If you at any point during your journey through this blog & you paused for a moment to investigate further over a term & type it into a search engine & if that term happened to be somewhat suspicious like Prism then congrats you are in the system a victim of your own curiosity.
Even if you didn’t search for anything online it wouldn’t take much for an interested gov to find that you being reading this blog at the very least it wouldn’t take much to find you haven’t. All you wanted to do is to read/listen, to take part in that most intensely intimate human act that joining of minds through language and that was more than enough your natural desire to connect with the world was all the world needed to connect your living, breathing self to the series of globally unique identifier such as your phone number, email address, I.P address of your computer.
By creating a world spanning system that track these identifiers across every available channel of electronics communications.
The intelligence agencies gave itself the power to record & store for the perpetuity the data of your life. This was the only beginning once these agencies have proven to themselves that it is possible to passively collect all of your communication they started actively tampering with them but poising the message that were heading your way with the snippet of attack code or exploit they develop the ability to gain possession of more than just your words.
Now they are capable of winning total control of your whole device including its camera & microphone which means if you are reading this sentence on any sort of modern machine like smartphone they can follow along they can tell how quickly or how slowly you are reading this blog or which part of the blog you skip & they will gladly endure looking up your nostril/face watching as you read so long as it gets them the data they want & let them positively identify you. This is the result of an unchecked innovation. The final product of a political & professional class that dream itself your master. No matter the place, time, no matter what you do now, your life has now become an open book.
“Society develops a type of self-censorship, with the knowledge that surveillance exists — a self-censorship that is even expressed when people communicate with each other privately.” ― Julian Assange