Thursday, May 24, 2012

Privacy and Anonymity...Gone Forever?

Back in the good old days, one had reasonable expectations of both. One's own home was supposed to be a fortress of privacy...expectation of anonymity was nil because your name was on the mailbox at the curb. On the other side of the coin was public anonymity...expectation of privacy is nil because HELLO...YOU'RE OUTSIDE WHERE EVERYONE CAN SEE YOU.

One of the facets of a police state (total control in the name of public safety) is to remove both. One of the primary Constitutional protections of the 4th Amendment is to prevent the capital "s" State from invading that sole bastion of privacy unless authorities can provide "prima facie" evidence to a judge that criminal activity is occurring.

Another facet of a police state is to know where every citizen is, and question why they are there. The surveillance state, with it's cameras anywhere and everywhere, have used the excuse of public safety to pursue and inject bio-metric and facial recognition software into every facet of our lives. They say the average Briton is photographed some 6,000 to 10,000 times PER DAY, without their permission.

I should say, without their EXPLICIT permission...but the citizens have given that power implicitly to the authorities by allowing surveillance laws to go unchalleneged. Our elected officials tell us that it is for our own safety, to make it easier to catch criminals and as a deterrent to crime. However, as more and more activities are criminalized, more and more everyday citizens are getting caught up in this web of "protection by deception". Ayn Rand warned that in order to keep the populace-at-large "under control", EVERYDAY BEHAVIOR must have some criminal implication, with fear of arrest weighing first and foremost on everyone's mind at every moment.

The advent of the internet bought about an entirely new and extreme "threat" to the entirely new form of privacy AND anonymity in one little box. We are in a new generation whether everything that is said, filmed, photographed or typed is now "out there" FOREVER. Once you turn this little box on, you are "on the record" permanently and indelibly.

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