Security vs Liberty – The Loss of Privacy

There are many aspects to the modern world full of excitement and possibility. The other side of the coin is that technological advances make it far more difficult to retain privacy.

We have cameras on the street corners, cameras at the gas station, in the bank, even on our own computers. Some of these are run by private companies trying to protect their own assets. Some are run by government to “protect the public.” Some are run by us. And some can be taken over by hackers with dubious agendas.

Couple all of the technology that has emerged within our own lifetimes with the types of threats that have emerged in the same span of time and you have a recipe for the destruction of liberty.

The NSA has been following phone records, internet traffic, and who knows what else that we still haven’t heard about. Foreign governments and organized crime hackers get into major corporate databases and take our personal information.

In response, we have intensive and intrusive security at airports applied without common sense. We have databases that can track a car and the driver’s daily routine by correlating photographs of the vehicle’s license plate.

The government grabs more and more of our liberties and locks them away forever as the cost of security. I am in the outraged camp. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. We didn’t carpet bomb Afghanistan with nuclear warheads despite having the capability to do it from a chair in Kansas.

The only thing holding the federal government back is judicial branch–for now. The data is there and ripe for abuse, and when was the last time you heard of a politician who refused to abuse power?

My God, I think I’m becoming David Brin.

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