Freedom without privacy doesn’t exist

Clark Chamberlin, Staff Writer

Adolf Hitler’s propaganda machine worked by figuring out how people respond to different things, then using this knowledge of the psyche of the German public to break down mental barriers and fill minds with what the state wanted them to believe. The modern propaganda machine works by determining how you specifically respond to different stimuli, then using this knowledge of your psyche to break down mental barriers and fill your mind with what they want you to believe. The only difference is that the current most obvious use is to sell you an iPhone.

The mass collection of this information is the greatest threat to our freedom. Corporations, especially in technology, watch your every move online. They collect massive amounts of information about you specifically. They have a model of you in their computers being fed information about what you say, think, and do. Who you are, where you live, what your job is, how much you make, and so on. They listen to your friends, your family, your neighbors, and everyone you know and add that to your virtual clone. They know you better than you know yourself. The only thing they admit to using this massive amount of information for is showing you advertisements more likely to make you buy things you don’t need or want. Even if that’s all that happens, that should scare you enough to take measures to protect your personal, private information from them, and to install an AdBlock to avoid seeing these ads to which you are NOT immune.

With the power of gag orders, subpoenas, mass surveillance, reckless lawmaking, and more, governments are scarier than the corporations, and they have goals far worse than making you eat a big mac. A good example of their many breaches of privacy is the Patriot Act. After 9/11, the government used the guise of terrorism to be allowed, without your consent, to:

  1. Read your emails and internet traffic
  2. Label you a terrorist if you’re part of an activist group, even if you have zero ties to a terrorist group
  3. Take your property without a hearing
  4. Put immigrants in jail indefinitely without proof that they’ve committed a crime
  5. Search your home without your knowledge
  6. Take your info from telecommunication companies without your knowledge
  7. Give the CIA private information on innocent people

And so on. The government introduced a permanent provision called the “National Security Letters” program, which allows the FBI to force banks, internet service providers, telephone companies, health insurance providers, etc to hand over customer data and logs without asking a court. One hundred ninety-two thousand of these letters were issued by the FBI between 2003 and 2006, only one of which led to a terrorist being caught. It is not worth letting 192,000 innocent persons be watched to catch one terrorist.

There are far more ways than just the Patriot Act for the government to spy on you, and if you want to start putting George Orwell in the nonfiction section of your local library then research the activities of Big Tech, and look at current bills. Read the Kids Online Safety Act, which would make you have to use your driver’s license to access a webpage.

We cannot have freedom without privacy. Everyone has something to hide, even if you don’t (you do), you still have much to fear. Everyone acts and speaks differently with someone looking over their shoulder. No one wants to be watched. “National Security” is a cope for breaching a human right, and you should not support any breach of privacy whatsoever. Propaganda is getting much too easy.