Privacy is an Inalienable Right for All Citizens in a Democracy

This video provides a clear discussion about why privacy is critical in a fully functioning democracy.  The narrator of this film was a Internet Service Provider who was asked by the FBI to hand over Edward Snowden’s information.  He refused as he did not want to be complicit and held fears about the privacy of citizens.  He closed down his server and he went about creating the ‘unhackable email’ which enabled privacy.

Do people want all their personal information to be recorded, for people to go through out blogs to develop profiles not in service of democracy but due to fears of difference.  In a democracy the foundation is privacy and freedom of speech.  If this is lost then it becomes a compliance based society which does not serve people but those in authority. The question I would put to those in positions of surveillance and data collection is – How would you feel if your child was monitored, their data stored and they were profiled?   Let’s say your child makes a mistake and get’s into some form of contraband online as a curious teenager.  Let’s say they say words like ‘terrorist‘, or ‘hate‘ or ‘kill‘ not meaning it seriously but in the heat of discussion or impressing their friends.  Would you want the authorities to pick your child up and charge them with crimes?  This becomes similar to the thought police etc.  In Afghanistan the Taliban controlled their society with the moral police (similar to thought police).  This is in the 21st century.  This question of privacy is for all of us. Not just those being surveilled but those silently in the background making assessment without opening dialogue with the other so they have a right to state their case.  This is a serious issue that needs public discussion as it has implications for freedoms and has the machinations of a ‘brave new world’ which I am certain no-one wants.

I could be evaluated in a range of ways given my poetry, my videos, my beliefs but I would say to those evaluating me – is it true?  Can you be absolutely sure it is true?  How do you feel how do you react when you believe the thought (negative) about me?  Who would you be without the thought, just look at me without a story?  Then turn it around (projection) to the opposite.  The real truth is in the positive and the same applies to you.  No-one is my enemy just a friend I haven’t met yet.  Inquiry into our beliefs is to learn to see clearly without stories that end up harming people and taking their freedom in the mistaken belief that the truth is a threat, it is not.  As I said in other blogs the question is – is it a snake or a rope?  Our beliefs turn a rope into a snake and fear it.  In truth it is benign when you question for truth and validity without surveillance stories.  Surveillance may pick up voice, video or behaviour but that is not to know the person at all. If you believe they are violent find out the root cause of this and assist that other in transforming their false beliefs that may see you as an enemy.  The cyber world is just clips and sound bites, it is not the reality of the larger world with 6 billion people.  It is a contrived world based on designed and programmed digital highways that predispose it to control and monitor people.  On the other hand it can be a great liberator in enabling people to learn from each other and connect across the world.  This is a good thing.

I am concerned that people deemed a threat (innocent people) could be set up, their information doctored (edited) and manipulated to be silenced as the belief is held that they are a threat.  Perhaps those who feel threatened have something to hide because they are not out in the open ‘being who they are’ in visibility.  I note they have cyber experts protecting their data but others do not have the same protections.  I see this as unfair and an imbalance of power.  However, karma will bring to people what they do to others, so none of us escape the bigger energy response to one’s own actions.  That is my view.  What goes around comes around would be the nutshell.

In the business world we talk about transparency, openness, ethics but I wonder how many actually live this authentically.  There would be no need for fears if we were open and then able to solve the problem, with best interests in mind.  No-one is making society more safe through secrecy.  US President Kennedy states the issue of secrecy succinctly:

“An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it… The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment…”

Mohandas Gandhi

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”