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Omnipresent Privacy

View from the Mount

Sober Thought Provoking Essays

Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
Ayn Rand

Omnipresent Privacy

A world afraid of individual privacy
A system designed to control evey action

Only Exists In Your Own Mind

Look around you, your life has become an open book. Think privacy is guaranteed in the US Constitution? Well, if it is not spelled out clearly, at least court decisions agree it is implicit. But when did any judicial decision protect the rights of individuals for any length of time? When the powers that be decide that their interests require, the collection and use of the three I’s - integral information intrusion - we all lose our intimacy.  The real world is comprised of some very wicked and sinister forces that claim they are guardians of your trust. Their conduct demands full disclosure of your most personal and intimate details. Why is this necessary? Surely, it isn’t essential!

Certainly, unanimity on the desirability of retaining the privacy of your own dignity should be above debate. However, people act as if they are oblivious to their own self interest. Are they so eager to reveal every aspect, trait and pattern about their life to mysterious agencies retained in hidden databases, or are they merely resigned to the seeming inevitability? Tragically, most have become so conditioned that they can’t wait to disclose their social security number to each unknown inquisitor or on any application for the unnecessary.

Two points are unassailable. First, that information collected always contains real risks that details can be adversely used against the individual. Two, that technology for collecting, amassing, integrating and utilizing personal data always increases in capacity and sophistication.

The genie in this bottle invariably lays you bare. Serious attempts to reverse this course for full disclosure are non existent, while the case for needed exposure is never made. The masses just simply accept the next insult. So what motivates and determines folks to give up one of their most precious possessions - their privacy? Most people don’t understand the meaning of an individual right. For those few that do usually have a tendency to ignore its use and are timid in defending such rights. Only the rare non-conformist, who still believes in their own intrinsic self worth, will protect themselves against the risk, challenge the authority to snoop and defend against the intrusive methods that violate our personal privacy.

An exemplary citizen is now, supposed to accept the invasion of privacy without questioning its purpose, and certainly never the authority of the State to demand and gather the data. The reality that defending one’s own natural rights, is deemed to be a radical act that only a maverick would adopt, confirms that most citizens are totally confused, who is the real boss. The enactment of the Patriot Act and its furtherance, coming under the  Patriot II, plainly illustrates the validity of point one. The resurrection of the TIA - Total Information Awareness - program will incorporate the widest accumulation of personal data yet systematized. Can anyone deny that rapid expansion in the methods of technology, point two, is just in its infancy? The common man, now will become very unique, while retaining the joint semblance of an integral file, for others to use or abuse as the circumstance dictates.

In the American Conservative essay - Surveillance State - by James Bovard, the dangers of the hysteria stemming from looking for a terrorist under every rock, is fashioned. He cites the sorry history of past government intrusion and lists several new sections in the latest vision of privacy eradication. The Domestic Security Enhancement Act (translated - Patriot II ) promises to protect government elites, while unmasking - to a moving definition - you as a terrorist! For the bureaucrat, privacy of the individual, is an obstacle to be removed. For the citizen, the peril of being labeled the ultimate criminal, an enemy of the State, is all too real.

When the only omnipresent privacy that remains is that of the machinery that operates the surveillance society, what is left of our own dignity?

So what can be sensibly expected for future prospects of maintaining our privacy? Are you prepared for retina scans to renew your driver’s license? Ready for the DNA of your new born to be registered upon birth? How about embedding a GPS micro chip under your skin as a prerequisite to travel? Sounds far fetched or out of a science fiction fantasy! Just look at the past record for the prospects of future trepidation . . .

Can privacy remain and even exist within your own consciousness? Well, if it the masters of the horror chamber have their way, the next brave new world will be penetrating and assaulting your own thoughts and political convictions. If privacy can be expunged from the general society, why not exterminate it from your own mind. The test for supreme fidelity to the STATE resides in the programming of the personal mind. Dissent will fade since the renegade will be eliminated, as privacy becomes integral and equivalent with that which is allowable and acceptable.

What is now intrusion, will swell to whatever the technology will execute. This is not a partisan issue or based upon political opinions. It is factual reality that effects everyone and continues to aggrandize regimentation, as it reduces individuality. Privacy is a principle that should never be compromised. It is too important for any government to decide when it needs to be violated. Each day you give up more of yourself, with only the sound of your silence left to be heard. Sooner than you know, privacy of your mind may well go public. For most that may not be much of a loss, since running on empty is normal. But for those who retain their own dignity, the battle of your lifetime must be fought. Resist any and all attempts to volunteer away your rights and deny Big Brother access at every turn. In the end, the loss of privacy means the demise of your essence.

SARTRE - May 25, 2003

Who could deny that privacy is a jewel? It has always been the mark of privilege, the distinguishing feature of a truly urbane culture. Out of the cave, the tribal teepee, the pueblo, the community fortress, man emerged to build himself a house of his own with a shelter in it for himself and his diversions. Every age has seen it so. The poor might have to huddle together in cities for need's sake, and the frontiersman cling to his neighbors for the sake of protection. But in each civilization, as it advanced, those who could afford it chose the luxury of a withdrawing-place.
Phyllis Mcginley

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