Friday, May 12, 2006

Majorities shouldn't decide on privacy

Poll: Most Americans Support NSA's Effort
The assumption implied in this piece -- that violations of privacy by government surveillance are somewhat legitamized by majority approval -- is a very dangerous one for a liberal democracy. Much like freedom of speech, the right to privacy is a way of protecting minority practices or opinions not just from the government, but also from majorities such as the one shown in this poll. If the balance between security and privacy is to be decided by opinions of greater numbers, then there is no telling how far we will slide away from privacy as those with the most common of views and behaviors are not the ones in need of strong protections.

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