Seriously Uncompromising

by on September 23, 2013 · 2 comments

Many “serious people” are beginning to make the case that it’s time for the outrage and indignation over the NSA’s mass surveillance to subside and give way to a “national conversation” about how much privacy and liberty we are willing to trade for security, which they argue is a “choice we have to make.” Today at Reason I argue that until we have good reason to trust the oversight mechanisms that we are told will keep the system honest—or indeed trust the mechanisms for formulating such an oversight regime—civil libertarians have no reason to feel sheepish about obstinately refusing to make that “choice we have to make.”

  • Smoke4423

    I’m Josh Williams, in my Ethics class, we have just covered the topic of obscurity. When thinking about the “oversight mechanisms”, it makes me think about how much control the general public has of keeping things about them private. When the general public has information about themselves that they want to keep from the next person, they can just easily “pull a cover” over the information. I personally feel that this method of hiding information doesn’t work for the higher levels in society. I feel that the way society is, we are becoming more reliant on technology and the functions of other established institutions. We are not independent as whole. we have become so dependent that I don’t think we have the choice to choose weather or not we want use the service. For example “email.” When we send out an email, we loose a few items of privacy that travel with every email we send. (An IP address I think) My point is that using an email in this age is not a choice. It is so intertwined with our society that the average person with no power or prestige must conform to the way of land.

    I feel that this is not the only example. But with small revelings of information being disclosed in multiple areas, what the general public views as privacy, is not even close to correct. The obscurity or struggle to retrieve certain information, because of the amount of information we disclose to function properly in society, is a cake walk for institutions like the IRS to find things out about you.

    Just for your thought, can you notice any other relationships in society that the general public doesn’t have the option to seise use because of it’s importance to society?

  • Eli The Man

    Reading this post made me think immediately of surveillance in the work place. I have been hearing a lot of concerns with how much surveillance is needed and how much invades peoples privacy. I agree with this post especially because of how it states that the ones who oversee this surveillance must be trustworthy in order to validate any claims of reason behind the surveillance. This caught my attention because in many cases, it is some form of government that is behind these oversight mechanisms and they have not done very much to gain the trust of the general public, and in fact they have done the opposite. It is a tough issue because there are so many situations where this surveillance occurs and it is vague whether it has real benefits that can outweigh the uneasiness that it produces.

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