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Date: 2015-03-21
Tags: surveillance civil-rights

“Here’s the problem with this kind of thing; for the people who don’t seem to get it.
It isn’t a matter of whether or not you’ve done anything wrong. It isn’t a matter of having anything to hide.
It’s a matter of peace of mind. It’s a matter of exercising your rights without having someone snooping into whatever you do. You think what you do is innocent? That’s great. But it’s not you that you have to worry about. It’s the interpretation of others that matter here. Others who may look at the books you read or the sites you visit or the causes you support or the things you say and read something sinister into it because of their own paranoia and prejudices.
Even if nothing comes of it, the knowledge you’re being watched is enough to put most people on edge. You may find yourself not reading that book or not visiting that site or supporting that cause or saying that thing … all because you worry about what someone else will think.
You shouldn’t have to. That’s the issue.” author unknown

It deeply saddens me when I encounter people who feel that blanket surveillance keeps us “safe”. I, and many many many others feel threatened and invariably less free because of surveillance. The fear of worrying about how other people perceive your actions is a terrible burden — so terrible we constantly tell our children and ourselves “not to worry what other people think”. However, as that becomes impossible, people will inevitably self-censor in order to not be noticed; which may be the worst possible thing that can happen in a “democracy” (represenative or otherwise).

“With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.”