Why Privacy Matters
In democratic societies some things have long been considered sacrosanct. Such as the right to privacy. Not any more. It is violated on a routine and systematic basis. States scream: national security or terrorism to justify their expansion of surveillance. In terms of the sheer scope of spying the USA puts the old USSR to shame. Without privacy there is neither freedom nor democracy. There has to be a space where you can express your innermost thoughts, emotions and vulnerabilities. The cameras, microphones, and drones eliminate that possibility. Thanks to Edward Snowden and a handful of courageous journalists and filmmaker Laura Poitras we have learned much of how our fundamental rights are being undermined. In this Orwellian world, Big Brother is omnipotent and omniscient. Is this a tolerable situation? Are people going to rise up and reclaim their rights?
Glenn Greenwald broke the story in The Guardian of Washington’s widespread electronic dragnet. His exclusive interview with NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden was an international media sensation. He is the author of With Liberty and Justice for Some and No Place to Hide. He is the recipient of the Izzy Award from the Park Center for Independent Media for his “path breaking journalistic courage and persistence in confronting conventional wisdom, official deception, and controversial issues.” He also received an Online Journalism Award for Best Commentary for his coverage of Bradley Manning. He is co-founder of the watchdog media outlet The Intercept. He writes for Substack.
I heard much of this talk this morning on my way to work and wanted to clap several times. I found myself saying “yes! exactly!” out loud and I am not normally given to talking to myself.
I especially loved the idea that the people that agreed with him changed as we went from a Republican president to a Democrat. These ideas or a free society and transparency of government go beyond party lines to basic human rights and truths.
Thank you for giving me so much to think about and a voice to an issue of great importance.