Glenn Greenwald

Many people are indifferent to the disappearance of privacy -- even with regard to government officials -- because they don't perceive any real value to it. The ways in which the loss of privacy destroys a society are somewhat abstract and difficult to articulate, though very real. A society in which people know they are constantly being monitored is one that breeds conformism and submission, and which squashes innovation, deviation, and real dissent.

The old cliché is often mocked though basically true: there's no reason to worry about surveillance if you have nothing to hide. That mindset creates the incentive to be as compliant and inconspicuous as possible: those who think that way decide it's in their best interests to provide authorities with as little reason as possible to care about them. That's accomplished by never stepping out of line. Those willing to live their lives that way will be indifferent to the loss of privacy because they feel that they lose nothing from it. Above all else, that's what a Surveillance State does: it breeds fear of doing anything out of the ordinary by creating a class of meek citizens who know they are being constantly watched.

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Comments (6)

I agree. But I think it really depends on the number of people per square inch you have sharing one space. The more people per square inch, the more rules you need, including less privacy to make sure the rules are followed, enforcement. I like to think about it in terms of a school or university class room. If there was only one child in the class room, you would need no rules and you could do what ever you wanted anytime you wanted without interfering with someone else's freedom to do what ever they wanted, when ever they wanted. Now put 200 people in one room, each with their own opinion on what they want to do when they want to do it. Now you need many rules to curb a behavior that is not chaos and can be productive. I don't even think there is any limit on the amount of regulation there will be, it just depends on the size of the population or if it self destructs.
Every person has different ideas about what the other person should do, including this author and myself. Compromise or war I guess, or isolation from "them".
Mike wave
Setting boundaries by accepted publicized laws, and invading people's privacy to control and ultimately profit are apples and oranges. I know you don't agree that the latter is what's happening, but that's the way I see it.
You mean like targeted google ads? I agree we've lost a lot of privacy. Especially when you think of what it was like before computer and internet. Oh my I'm getting old.

My ultimate dream home is off the grid in Antarctica, living with the penguins. I wounder what they taste like.
like chicken with fish smell.barf barf barf
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created Aug 2010
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