source: Bruce Schneier on Wired News

The most common retort against privacy advocates -- by those in favor of ID checks, cameras, databases, data mining and other wholesale surveillance measures -- is this line: "If you aren't doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?"

Some clever answers: "If I'm not doing anything wrong, then you have no cause to watch me." "Because the government gets to define what's wrong, and they keep changing the definition." "Because you might do something wrong with my information." My problem with quips like these -- as right as they are -- is that they accept the premise that privacy is about hiding a wrong. It's not. Privacy is an inherent human right, and a requirement for maintaining the human condition with dignity and respect.

much more in the article which is well worth reading.  Hopefully this posted here will not stimulate a right-wrong game.  In any case i'm not so sure that privacy is an inherent human right ... where it comes to the "real" community, i would disagree ... but where it comes to the government, i would uphold privacy as a human right ... even though our for fathers did not have the wisdom to write it specifically into the constitution.  Notice what i am saying here and not just react to buzz key words.  Being a member of a community implies that one must needs give up part of one's privacy ... there is a physics to that.  But being a member of a community is not the federal government's business ... their community is our geographic boarders ... those are quite far away from the individual ... or at least that is my politics.


  1. privacy
  2. human rights
  3. government
  4. my comments
  5. politics


Seth says
source: weaverluke
Two cheers that, finally, the privacy meme seems to be gaining virility within a broad constituency.
Let's save our third cheer for when government ministers unblock their ears...
my comment on his blog substantually above.

Seth says
source:  my comment on apophenia
Certainly you are spot on re teens not being concerned with governmental intrusions into their privacy. But give me a break ... to "figure out how to give youth privacy in their personal lives" is to figure out how to abdicate our obligation to parent.

weaverluke says

Actually, I agree with your observation that the concept of "rights" with respect to privacy is problematic.

I prefer the concept of negotiation of information control (privacy), as this avoids the trap of pseudo-objective morality.

After all, the boundary between "my" data and "your" data is quintessentially fuzzy (as when I shop at a supermarket: do I own the data so generated, or does the supermarket, or perhaps both or neither?).

Seth says
What is visible of your property from a public street is, apparently, not private and privileged information about you.   So why is what is accessible in the electronic spectrum any different?  Can and should such a distinction be made?   Google's street view has come under scrutiny in this regard

Me i think we need to refine what privacy is and should be about in this modern world. 

Is more privacy really what this world needs ... or does it need less privacy ?

Mark de LA says
Ponder the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated....

... note it doesn't say that whatever others can get away with by whatever means are available is OK. Although this is aimed at the several governments & police, I don't see how private people & corporations have the right to invade that privacy either. In fact, I do not see how these words are restricted in application to the law, governments or police either.

Seth says
My question is whether publishing of this picture, which was taken of a person's trash can from the street outside their house, was an invasion of their privacy under the constitution?

Incidentally that same house had left their WiFi unsecured ... i was able to use it to check my email one day.  Was that also a violation of their privacy?

Mark de LA says
Apparently what is in your trash can is fair game as long as it is out on the street.  Police & identity thieves often rumage through your trash to find info on you. I shred or burn all I do not want to land in evil hands.  Publishing it may yet be another matter. I think there is common law on tresspassing, but generally where you put your trash cans for collection is public property. As far as publishing goes, the laws on slander, libel & defamation apply & apply to the context & intent of the publishing & not necessarily the truth of the matter, IMHO.

Seth says
M 2012-05-28 10:42:48 3604
I don't use wi-fi because I don't know how to secure it against intrusion. I think trolling for hot spots is an urban past time. What you do when you are in probably matters most & most often covered by other laws like those against hacking.  
Well i use WiFi all the time ... it is necessary for any kind of cybernetic mobility.  My own WiFi at home here is secured with a password as is my mobile hot spot with verizon.  It would take extreme measure to hack into it.   When on a public WiFi as available at Starbucks and McDonald and many other places, i tend not to do anything that i would not ordinarily do in public ... but then i tend not to do anyting in private that i would not do in public ... the narrative being that i intend to project my being into the world as it is and am not ashamed to do so.  If there is anything secret about my actions, then it is my responsibity to keep the secrets ... not the world's (or the goverment's responsibility) to protect me from prying eyes and ears.

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