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Privacy

Commentary by Peter Shepherd
Privacy
“Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority... It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation - and their ideas from suppression - at the hand of an intolerant society.” ~ John Stevens (U.S. Supreme Court Justice)
Privacy is a fundamental human right. Like Edward Snowden says, “Privacy is the foundation of all other rights. Arguing that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is like arguing that you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”
“Privacy is the freedom to be ourselves.” ~ Maritza Pick
And as Stephen King points out, “Friends don’t spy; true friendship is about privacy, too.”
“When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else.” ~ David Brin
Freedoms can easily be lost as Louis D. Brandeis describes: “Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. However, the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
Privacy
“Law-abiding citizens value privacy. Terrorists require invisibility. The two are not the same, and they should not be confused.” ~ Richard Perle
If we ignore small gradual erosions to privacy, especially in the name of convenience or safety, we risk a much larger overall loss that we aren’t aware of until its too late. It could be said, if you’re doing nothing wrong, why should you worry about issues of privacy? However we each have personal and private lives that are nobody else’s business, especially as such information could be misused for profit or manipulation.
“I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.” ~ Edward Snowden
Google, Amazon, Facebook, et al, in liaison with ISPs and government intelligence, to a greater or lesser extent track our interests and comments on the Internet, sell data to advertisers, and build up a detailed picture of all our lives that could be used not just to fight terrorism but also to suppress and control a people through totalitarian governmental methods. [We at Trans4mind, by the way, allow no surveillance tracking on our site by advertisers, social or search engines.] As Al Gore says, “In this digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?”
Privacy

Here’s some further reading on this theme...

Privacy | Electronic Frontier Foundation

New technologies are radically advancing our freedoms, but they are also enabling unparalleled invasions of privacy. National and international laws have yet to catch up with the evolving need for privacy that comes with new digital technologies. Continues...

Right to Privacy | Wikipedia

The inalienable human right to privacy has been a subject of international debate. In combating worldwide terrorism, government agencies, such as the NSA, CIA, R&AW, and GCHQ have engaged in mass, global surveillance. There is now a question as to whether the right to privacy can co-exist with the current capabilities of intelligence agencies to access and analyse virtually every detail of an individual's life. A major question is whether or not the right to privacy needs to be forfeited as part of the social contract to bolster defense against supposed terrorist threats. Continues...

The World Says No to Surveillance - Edward Snowden

Ending the mass surveillance of private phone calls under the Patriot Act is a historic victory for the rights of every citizen, but it is only the latest product of a change in global awareness. Since 2013, institutions across Europe have ruled similar laws and operations illegal and imposed new restrictions on future activities. The United Nations declared mass surveillance an unambiguous violation of human rights. In Latin America, the efforts of citizens in Brazil led to the Marco Civil, an Internet Bill of Rights. Recognizing the critical role of informed citizens in correcting the excesses of government, the Council of Europe called for new laws to protect whistle-blowers. Continues...

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My Favorite Inspiring Quotes

With Commentary by Peter Shepherd
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