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chesa

The Price of Privacy

What a topic today! The revelations about NSA’s encroachments on the privacy of American citizens and the far-reaching impact of  U.S. covert operations around the world bring up some serious questions. Are we giving up our civil liberties for real protection against terrorism?

To me, it’s mainly about trust. Do I trust that my government has my best interests at heart or is this invasion under the guise of protecting me from terrorism just a way to keep me in line? And what line is that? I don’t know that I have answers even for myself. I am so proud to be an American – I’m a naturalized citizen – but I am seriously questioning whether my country can ever trust its citizens enough to allow them a modicum of privacy. Isn’t trust a two-way street? I know, that’s kind of a PollyAnna viewpoint.

I have a friend I’d like to quote because she says it so eloquently:

I have thought long & hard about why privacy is so important to me. About why “well if you aren’t doing anything wrong, what are you afraid of?” does not justify giving it up. My father used to say, “There are eleven Commandments; the 11th is “Mind Thine Own Business.” As a WWII vet, the liberty of privacy was very clear and important to him. To me it is that and more — privacy is magic and gives me the will to live, to exercise my imagination, to build my character, to be different things to different people. If everything we do and say suffers automatic exposé, then we are no more than bugs on a pin, less interesting than dirt.

My father was a WWII vet as well and so proud to be an American. He, too, was naturalized although he fought with the Canadian Royal Army. But he took great pride in supporting the U.S. and the allies in that war. He is no longer with us, and I wonder what he would think?

When the 4th Amendment is suspended in so many ways that we see today, I wonder how the U.S. can sustain its greatness as a world leader.

As usual, it looks like I have more questions than answers.

Chesa
www.computergoddess.com

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