It is summed up by this quote from Glenn Greenwald “The surveillance state doesn’t really do much in terms of giving us lots of security. But what it does do, is it destroys the notion of privacy, which is the area in which human creativity and dissent and challenges to orthodoxy all reside. The way things are supposed to work is we’re supposed to know everything that the government does with rare exception, that’s why they’re called the public sector.
And they’re supposed to know almost nothing about us, which is why we’re private individuals, unless there’s evidence that we’ve committed a crime. This has been completely reversed, so that we know almost nothing about what the government does.
It operates behind this impenetrable wall of secrecy, while they know everything about what it is we’re doing, with whom we’re speaking and communicating, what we’re reading. And this imbalance, this reversal of transparency and secrecy and the way things are supposed to work, has really altered the relationship between the citizenry and the government in very profound ways”. The use of drones, electronic eavesdropping and the continued abuse of 1st, 2nd and 4th amendment rights along with quotes from our leaders like Mayor. Bloomberg “ “You’re never going to know where all of our cameras are,” Bloomberg told reporters gathered outside City Hall. “And that’s one of the ways you deter people; they just don’t know whether the person sitting next to you is somebody sitting there or a detective watching.”
Greenwald sums it up again by saying “But I think the broader point is that it’s that false dichotomy, that the more the government learns about us, the safer we’ll be. In part because what history shows is that when governments are able to surveil people in the dark, generally the greatest outcome is that they abuse that power and it becomes tyrannical. If you talk to anybody who came from Eastern Europe, they’ll tell you that the reason we left is because society’s become deadened and soulless, when citizens have no privacy. And it’s a difficult concept to understand, why privacy is so crucial, but people understand it instinctively. They put locks on their bedroom doors, not for security, but for privacy. Secrecy is the linchpin of abuse of government power. If people are able to operate in the dark, it is not likely or probable, but inevitable that they will abuse their power. It’s just human nature. And that’s been understood for as long as politics has existed. That transparency is really the only guarantee that we have for checking those who exercise power”
And that’s the reason why the government has progressively destroyed one institution. or civil right after the next designed to bring transparency or independence from the government, whether it’s the media that they turned into the supine creatures or the Congress that does more to empower government secrecy than any other, or the courts that have been incredibly subservient towards sources of government secrecy.
The 1st 2nd and 4th amendment are all under attack. The expression of the blatant hypocrisy of the powerful elite, versus the injustice of social disenfranchisement, is difficult for people to reconcile. We see “whistleblowers” who speak for truth and decency get treated as criminals and elites who break the law be above the law. Secrecy creates an environment of mistrust.