"From the Fourth Amendment to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and from the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to films like Minority Report and The Lives of Others, our law and culture are full of warnings about state scrutiny of our lives. These warnings are commonplace, but they are rarely very specific. Other than the vague threat of an Orwellian dystopia, as a society we don’t really know why surveillance is bad and why we should be wary of it. To the extent that the answer has something to do with “privacy,” we lack an understanding of what “privacy” means in this context and why it matters. We’ve been able to live with this state of affairs largely because the threat of constant surveillance has been relegated to the realms of science fiction and failed totalitarian states.
"But these warnings are no longer science fiction. The digital technologies that have revolutionized our daily lives have also created minutely detailed records of those lives. In an age of terror, our government has shown a keen willingness to acquire this data and use it for unknown purposes. We know that governments have been buying and borrowing private-sector databases, and we recently learned that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been building a massive data and supercomputing center in Utah, apparently with the goal of intercepting and storing much of the world’s Internet communications for decryption and analysis...." More here:
http://www.harvardlawreview.org/issues/ … m_9477.php
Addressing the Harm of Total Surveillance: A Reply to Professor Neil Richards
Danielle Keats Citron and David Gray
"...The threat posed by contemporary surveillance technologies lies in how much and how often people are watched. Modern technologies allow observers to detect, gather, and aggregate mass quantities of data about mundane daily acts and habits as well as "intellectual" ones.66 The continuous and indiscriminate surveillance they accomplish is damaging because it violates reasonable expectations of quantitative privacy, by which we mean privacy interests in large aggregations of information that are independent from particular interests in constituent parts of that whole.68 To be sure, the harms that Richards links to intellectual privacy are very much at stake in recognizing a right to quantitative privacy. But rather than being a function of the kind of information gathered, we think that the true threats to projects of self-development and democratic culture lie in the capacity of new and developing technologies to facilitate a surveillance state...."
http://www.harvardlawreview.org/issues/ … m_1010.php
The problem doesn't lie on how much and how often we are watched but why, why did we give the government the liberty to do so? Why don't we protect each other against any abuses? Why don't we have a lobby protecting our interests? I don't see any field where the people are protected, we have to battle for the minimal right.
Ralph, It is certainly a good topic despite the scary consequence.
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