Opinion: The New Privacy, We Allowed It To Happen

Once upon a time privacy was something that we took for granted. We didn’t worry about ID theft or the government listening into our phone calls. It was our right. That right is not in the ballpark anymore.

On December 10, 1948 the United Nations enacted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.”

Why have people allowed this basic right to be ignored and imposed on? Has the world become so dangerous that we have to bar-code each other?

The basic rights in this document should be considered sacred and yet as the world changes so do the rights of humans. We no longer have the right of privacy. We no longer have the right to be innocent until proven guilty. We have the ‘right’ to not be charged with a crime if the government sees fit. We have the ‘right’ for our private phone conversations to be the entertainment for eavesdroppers in government secret call centers.

And we’ve allowed it.

The British are dealing like the rest of the world with an economic crisis. They are also working hard to delve into their citizens privacy. There were 500,000 requests just last year for phone or Internet firms to look into individual records. Children’s lives are now fodder for data bases. Medical records are no longer a private matter between patient and doctor. The state wants to know all.

And we allowed it.

CNN is reporting that the White House should oversee cybersecurity. In 2007 the National Office for Cyberspace was created to do so. Obama is on board for this one.

President-elect Obama has made detailed cybersecurity proposals, and they are listed on his Web site.

He has called for “strengthening federal leadership on cybersecurity,” supporting an effort “to develop next-generation secure computers and networking for national security applications,” and protecting the IT infrastructure, preventing “corporate cyber-espionage.”

Journalists are being jailed worldwide to hush up government issues. Online journalists are sitting side by side seasoned newspaper reporters. This isn’t happening just in nations known for keeping their citizens in the dark, it’s happening with United States journalists also.

We’ve allowed it to happen.

History has a way of repeating itself. Almost 90 years ago it was allowed to happen. National ID cards that tracked citizens. The nation was Germany. The man in charge was Hitler. Does anyone really need a history lesson on how it turned out that time?

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