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Database Nation by Simson Garfinkel

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Chapter 11. Privacy Now!

PREAMBLE

...Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law....

Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations,

G.A. res. 217A (III), U.N. Doc A/810 at 71 (1948).

The campaign against liberty, identity, and autonomy in the twenty-first century is being carried out around the world, but nowhere are the attacks more evident than in the United States. It's a campaign that is being pursued, hand in hand, by government, businesses, and ordinary citizens. We are all guilty. Privacy is suffering the death of a thousand cuts.

Free societies turn their backs on privacy at their own risk, for privacy is one of the fundamental rights from which all other human rights are derived:

  • Without the ability to prevent or control intrusions, life itself cannot exist. Simple organisms use their cell walls to protect their bodily integrity from intrusions. We humans rely on our skin, our homes, our fences, and our weapons to protect our integrity and our privacy.

  • Without privacy of thought—the freedom that allows us to form our own opinions, and the secrecy that allows us to keep our opinions ...

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