Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2018 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Time to nix privacy completely?

8 June 2017

The right to privacy has long been a cornerstone of modern free society in the Western world.

Without the right to privacy, the reigning power, be it a king, queen, democratically elected government or whoever, has the ability to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants because any dissent will soon be spotted and eliminated.

In short: without privacy we have no guarantee of freedom.

However, in recent times the "powers that be" have made concerted efforts to assure us that we don't need privacy in order to enjoy a free society. They tell us time and time again that "only those with something to hide have anything to fear" when their privacy is taken from them.

Yet strangely enough, those who tell us this still have curtains on their windows and doors on their bathrooms.

In the wake of the latest round of terror attacks across the world, the pressure to remove our right to privacy is being ramped up even more -- in the name of safety and security.

I'm sorry but I don't buy it.

Sure, terrorists may be using the right to privacy to plan and execute attacks that take innocent lives -- but that is one of the prices we must pay if we are to truly have a free society.

The situation is no worse than acknowledging the huge number of people who die on the word's roads every year as a result of crashes.

Despite this carnage -- which is many orders of magnitude greater than the deaths attributed to terror attacks, no person in their right mind would consider suggesting that we remove cars from our roads due to the danger they pose to the public -- hell no!

Yet there is ongoing pressure to remove our right to privacy -- because a much, much smaller number of people die as a result of its abuse.

Governments around the world are increasingly locking up people who refuse to hand over decryption or access keys to personal data they may have stored on their electronic devices and you can't even enter the USA without your phone, laptop and other devices being subject to such searches.

Not good enough.

And this whole "only those with something to hide have anything to fear thing" seems to be conveniently forgotten by the USA when its nasty little secrets are revealed by the likes of Snowden or Wikileaks. When the "state" is allowed secrets but the people are not, then you have a very dangerous situation -- not unlike Eastern Europe in the wake of WW2.

My own personal fear is that governments will continue to play on the public's concern over safety and people will sit idly by whilst the very thing that makes a free society possible is stripped from them.

Remember the words of Emiliano Zapata (YouTube).

Do readers think that we should temporarily suspend the public's right to privacy in order to better fight "The war against terror" -- or would doing so simply be the ultimate capitulation to the terrorists who consider those very freedoms as the enemy?

Freedom is a right that we must all work to keep or we will lose it to those who value their own interests ahead of those of society.

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

Recent Columns

Free software, smack my gob again!
Software can be expensive... very expensive...

Why EVs might cripple New Zealand
Electric vehicles (EVs) look set to take over from dino-juiced personal transport within the next decade or so...

Is the next-tech beyond hobbyists?
I'm a lucky guy...

Are we overdue for another global pandemic?
It's been almost exactly 100 years since the last global pandemic swept the world and killed millions...

Here come the Johnny Cabs
I'm sure all Aardvark readers have already heard the recorded conversation between a hair-dressing salon receptionist and Google's AI "bot". If not, go search for it and listen...

Here comes the big one?
The mainscream media is at it again...

Fast enough for me
A couple of months ago, I splashed out on a new PC...

Yes, time travel is possible!
Stephen Hawking has invited time travelers to his memorial service...

The most ambitious Mars mission yet?
There have been some pretty impressive attempts to do science on the Red Planet in recent decades and I for one have just loved the results...

A life-changing gift
I read a story in today's Stuff about service stations, and how they rob you blind each time you fill up your car, by selling you confectionery, pies,coffee and other impulse-purchase products at highly inflated prices...

Audiophools on the loose again
Do you remember listening to your first compact audio disk and being appalled by the thinness of the sound, the lack of richness and the clearly audible encoding artifacts?...