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The 'Privacy vs. Security' Canard

Wehrwolfen

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By Daren Jonescu
07/03/2013

One of the standard claims of those who would defend "well-intentioned" police-state practices such as the NSA's universal secret monitoring of telephone and e-mail data is that the enhancement of "security" provided by these programs warrants the sacrifice of "some privacy."
That argument is being worked to a frazzle of late, as the Obama administration and others seek to justify the ever-growing litany of revelations about the levels of surveillance to which the U.S. federal government is subjecting everyone. This framing of the issue as "privacy vs. security" is a canard which loads the dice in tyranny's favor.
"It's important to recognize that you can't have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We're going to have to make some choices as a society."
So says Barack Obama to the American people, defending the NSA's gathering of communications metadata.
But following this line of non-reasoning, how are Americans to make the relevant "choices"? -- pretending for a moment that they were given any "choice" in the matter of a top-secret bureaucratic invasion of their lives that they would never have learned about without an Edward Snowden. Obama, using the typical vernacular of this issue, presents 100 percent security and 100 percent privacy as desirable but contradictory goals. Does this mean that choosing 50 percent security entails giving up 50 percent privacy? If you desired 100 percent security, would you have to relinquish 100 percent of your privacy? (This appears to be the Obama administration's preferred option.) And how does "inconvenience" figure into this scale of measurement?
More generally, however, why are we reduced to discussing political philosophy like children arguing about school night curfews with their parents?

[Excerpt]

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Articles: The 'Privacy vs. Security' Canard

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. -- Benjamin Franklin
 

fmw

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More generally, however, why are we reduced to discussing political philosophy like children arguing about school night curfews with their parents?
Because we are powerless against a corrupt government.
 

Wehrwolfen

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Because we are powerless against a corrupt government.
OMG, are you claiming that Americans re-elected a corrupted administration? There are many Progressives out there that will differ with you.
 

fmw

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OMG, are you claiming that Americans re-elected a corrupted administration? There are many Progressives out there that will differ with you.
No, I think the federal government has been corrupt for as long as I can remember. I'm sure the entire government differs with me.
 

Chaddelamancha

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Fixed that for you. Congress has a 90% re-election rate with less than a 10% approval rating. Tell me there is no corruption there.

OMG, are you claiming that Americans re-elected a corrupted government? There are many Progressives out there that will differ with you.
 

head of joaquin

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Wasn't it Bush that passed the Patriot Act, and didn't his cronies in Congress and the rightwing media call those who opposed it (like Democrat Russ Feingold) "soft on terrorism"?

Gee, it's almost as if conservative Obamaphobes depend on people thinking that history started yesterday.
 

jaeger19

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By Daren Jonescu
07/03/2013

One of the standard claims of those who would defend "well-intentioned" police-state practices such as the NSA's universal secret monitoring of telephone and e-mail data is that the enhancement of "security" provided by these programs warrants the sacrifice of "some privacy."
That argument is being worked to a frazzle of late, as the Obama administration and others seek to justify the ever-growing litany of revelations about the levels of surveillance to which the U.S. federal government is subjecting everyone. This framing of the issue as "privacy vs. security" is a canard which loads the dice in tyranny's favor.
"It's important to recognize that you can't have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We're going to have to make some choices as a society."
So says Barack Obama to the American people, defending the NSA's gathering of communications metadata.
But following this line of non-reasoning, how are Americans to make the relevant "choices"? -- pretending for a moment that they were given any "choice" in the matter of a top-secret bureaucratic invasion of their lives that they would never have learned about without an Edward Snowden. Obama, using the typical vernacular of this issue, presents 100 percent security and 100 percent privacy as desirable but contradictory goals. Does this mean that choosing 50 percent security entails giving up 50 percent privacy? If you desired 100 percent security, would you have to relinquish 100 percent of your privacy? (This appears to be the Obama administration's preferred option.) And how does "inconvenience" figure into this scale of measurement?
More generally, however, why are we reduced to discussing political philosophy like children arguing about school night curfews with their parents?

[Excerpt]

Read more:
Articles: The 'Privacy vs. Security' Canard

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. -- Benjamin Franklin
Its largely a matter of human beings being poor evaluators of risk. 99,000 people a year (approx.) die from medical mistakes, while 3000 people died in 9/11.... but we are not waterboarding doctors. Many more people die a year in pools, statistically much more than in gun accidents or murders... and yet... we focus on magazine restrictions. It appears that there are certain inherent risks to life that we find acceptable.. no matter how many die.. while only a few "unacceptable" deaths capture the attention of the public.

I think the greatest irony after 9/11 is our legislators calling for us to change our culture (Gitmo, warrantless taps, separate judicial systems, strip searches at the airport etc)... "because the terrorists want to change our way of life"...

I guess their thinking is we will decrease our freedoms before the terrorists do it.. that will show them.
 
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Redress

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ANother good example of why American Thinker is the most badly misnamed magazine in the world.
 
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