Sunday, August 18, 2013

Peegy Noonan - What We LOSE IF We Give Up Privacy

     Columnist and writer, Peggy Noonan seems to have found the nail and decided to hit it on the head.
     Living, as we do, in an encroaching police state, privacy has become one of those "inconvenient" truths that so offend the present administration.
     Noonan says, "
What is privacy? Why should we want to hold onto it? Why is it important, necessary, precious?
Is it just some prissy relic of the pretechnological past?
We talk about this now because of Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency revelations, and new fears that we are operating, all of us, within what has become or is becoming a massive surveillance state. They log your calls here, they can listen in, they can read your emails. They keep the data in mammoth machines that contain a huge collection of information about you and yours. This of course is in pursuit of a laudable goal, security in the age of terror.
Is it excessive? It certainly appears to be. Does that matter? Yes. Among other reasons: The end of the expectation that citizens' communications are and will remain private will probably change us as a people, and a country.
     Privacy matters a lot. It has just become somewhat inconvenient for a government that chooses to prey upon citizens, rather than serve them.
     Public Servants? That term went out of style and Barack Obama intends that it never return.
Al Qaeda is still here, its networks are growing. But you have to be careful about who's running U.S. intelligence and U.S. security, and they have to be fully versed in and obey constitutional guarantees. "There has to be somebody supervising them who knows what's right. . . . Terrorism is not going to go away. But we need someone in charge of the whole apparatus who has read the Constitution."
Advances in technology constantly up the ability of what government can do. Its technological expertise will only become deeper and broader. "They think they're getting to how you think. The technology is such that with the masses of databases, then privacy will get even weaker."
Mr. Hentoff notes that J. Edgar Hoover didn't have all this technology. "He would be so envious of what NSA can do."

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