Why Privacy is crucial to our Liberty.
Thoughts of the night: privacy matters!
Imagine a prison where a single watchman can observe all inmates from a central tower without the occupants knowing whether or not they are being watched. Now imagine how you would behave. At any moment there might be someone in the watchtower looking at you, but you never know if you’re being watched. You would have no choice but obedience and compliance. Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon is more than ever topical regarding the latest Snowden’s leaks.
You might not be in a prison but mass surveillance can create a prison in your mind. You might say “I have nothing to hide, only bad people have reasons to hide”. But how would you act if all your web history was automatically set public on your Facebook at any time? Would you visit the same websites, read the same articles, buy the same stuff online, chat with the same people? You will tend to behave with social compliance and obedience. You only need to see how your behavior changes when a friend wants to take a picture of you to understand why privacy matters.
Privacy allow you to fuck the social norms, have some creativity and craziness with friends without the judgement of others being cast upon us. How much more liberty are we willing to trade-off for a supposed more secure world?