Thursday, May 29, 2014

On Privacy

Let me clarify something from my last post. I am all about making sacrifices to keeping people safe in society. I am willing to do things that I think are inconvenient or miserable—like airport security, the invasion of privacy re: riffling through my luggage, bodyscans, etc—if that means saving lives or bettering the world or getting everyone to hold hands and love each other.

I am not okay with abuse of that willingness. If the TSA decided to throw away my suitcase, we'd have problems. If the contents of my laptop needed to be scanned, for the sake of rifling through photographs or whatever, we'd have problems. If I get someone in security who proceeded to grope me or some other disgusting abuse of their power, you can bet we'd have some fucking problems. There is a fine line between acceptable and awful, and even I don't know exactly where that line falls.

Here is a great article from Cory Doctorow about privacy and protecting yourself, including tools and software you can use for privacy. Am I completely, 100%, without-a-doubt on Cory Doctorow's wavelength? No. But I'm also not dealing with trade secrets or security details or anything really dangerous where I'd require internet privacy to save my life. I don't live in a country where my Facebook friends are reviewed at roadblocks, determining my future travels or incarceration (read the article). I am happy these security things exist. I am also not happy that they exist, for all the baddies to get a hold of them as well. That includes any baddies hiding behind official masks, not just the ones operating in garages.

And hence the quandry. There is no perfect world. Decide for yourself. (And for the love of all that is holy, BE NICE TO PEOPLE.)

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