T Nation

Why Is Privacy So Important?


Ok, this should be fun. Over and over from both sides of the fence I hear many things the government does interpreted to be an invasion of privacy. My question is this, what is everyone so fearful of if other people know what you are doing or even thinking? I can't help but view the desire for privacy as some primitave form of evil.

Please discuss, I have a lot of thoughts on the matter but would like to get it out as clearly as possibly as I have a tendancy to just write a bunch of loosley linked ideas that are hard to follow.



I think everyone should have enough privacy to take a shit.

I don't think anyone should have enough privacy to commit major crimes over and over again without being caught.

This is not an absolute subject. The question is where to draw the line.


I think that is has to do with the mantra that Knowledge is Power. Some people may feel that the more another person knows about their private lives, the more power that person gains over them and/or the more power they loose.


To me privacy is being able to take a shit, shave your balls, pop a pimple on your hairy back, jackoff in women's clothing, or whatever.

Secrecy is hiding information with the intent to decieve someone else.

My picture being taken or recorded on the street by cameras, who cares?

The government recording how often I buy Q-tips, steak, and butt plugs, who cares?


Because some people are afraid, shy or ashamed to admit they listen to the Spice Girls or masturbate to hentai.


I think it?s even more complicated.

Sometimes it?s a good thing if people have enough privacy to commit major crimes over and over again. Depends on the crimes.

I mean cases like illegal producing and selling of alcohol, producing, selling or smuggling of cannabis, illegal abortions (if there are no legal options), prostitution, gambling, smuggling some slaves to safety, or even hiding one or two jews in your basement because some SA-troopers feel the need to lynch someone.

All of these things above could not happen anymore if there was no room to retreat from stupid public regulations. I believe that the society most people think they want would be a nightmare, if they really got it 100%.

As I have posted before, crime is very often a cultures way of dealing with its own contradictions and to play that important role it definitely needs some "privacy".


The right to vote privately, without anybody ever knowing who you voted for is central for democracy. Nobody can force you to vote in a certain way.


I don't consider prostitution, gambling etc. to be major crimes.

I am more worried about rape, murder, jaywalking etc.


I agree that voting and weather or not I want to bone my girl in the ass or not is a good form of privacy. What about the people who claim privacy concerns over the patriot act? The government can tap my phone lines? Who cares? I'm not planning on incriminating myself over the phone, and I generally don't have discussions like, "yea so I fucked my girl in the ass last night" besides I go online here and say all that shit anyways. I just don't get what people get so defensve about. I mean I would rather know my government is using every espionage tool available to find out who the really bad people are and jump on them before they do something really bad. If that involves an FBI agent who I don't even know hearing about my sex life or anything like that I can live with that.



The problem with losing your privacy is once it's gone, it's gone buddy. I don't a Federal Agent probing into my life. I don't want my picture taken at every corner.

I don't want the government having too much power. You need to draw a line.

Too much power in the government's hands is a recipe for oppression. The more they know the more power they have over you.


Veg, I think you make some good observations. While I don't want the FBI listening in on every phone call I certainly think they should have SOME leeway with wiretapping.

Too many people have an expectation of privacy in what are basically public forums.

I hardly consider telephone conversations to be secure or private.

If you use a cordless phone any bozo with a radio can listen in. (At least we could back in college. I am not sure with the different frequencies used today.)

And of course anyone that works in an office has zero expectations of private conversations.

I took my daughter to see a movie last week and we walked around the mall. I have not been in a mall for at least a year. There was this store that sold about 20 different variations of a t-shirt that said "No Snitching." What kind of message is this?

While I don't want the US to turn into a police state with everyone spying on everyone, if someone is brewing meth, abusing children or planning a terrorist attack I hope somebody has the guts to snitch.


And I hope that teenage boys can continue to throw minor parties in their houses when their parents leave town. The point is, once you take it away, it's gone. That includes all of the cute shit that all of us did at one time or another. Why would anyone in their right mind want to give up all privacy just because terrorists exist? That's stupid and I seriously doubt that had a democrat been pushing some of these ideals that everyone would be jumping on the bandwagon so eagerly.


Wow...you really think that the right to privacy is "evil?" No...you don't really believe that...Say it isn't so..


Technically speaking from a pure word standpoint, privacy is witholding information. I view witholding information as a bad thing, not that it's neccesarily "evil" but at least not conducive to advancement of the human race.

Now on the other hand, just so you all don't think i'm a government lover, I also think all the "top secret" or national security stuff is B.S. I mean besides when there is an actual mission going on which the release of such info would get somebody killed, nothing should be classified. Government privacy sucks too and we should vote people into power that will eliminate it.



We don't have enough money to have the kind of people who would eliminate it voted to office


That's fine, until you start feeding hungry black children before school, and the government decides YOU are one of the bad guys.


I don't know you, so I am going to guess you are about 18 years old. The above is hands down the dumbest thing I have ever read on this forum. I can't imagine a single guy in the service or ex-service that would agree with you. There are many, many things that are classified that do not have to do with a particular mission or person that are vital, such as equipment capabilities, personnel locations, how much info and what kind we have on the bad guys, and on and on.

As far as personal privacy:

1) The best gov't is that which governs least. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the single greatest threat to your freedom is the US gov't. Why would you want them to have access to your personal info? They have their shitty fingers in enough pies already.

2) My life is MINE. Not the gov'ts. Not yours. Not any group of carefree fuckheads or political hacks that want to give it away.

3) And yes, I put my money where my mouth is. I just passed on a job at a nearby military site because the release they wanted me to sign was intrusive, to say the least. I don't need the FBI crawling up my ass with a microscope. It's MY ass, after all.


It's simple. I don't trust this corrupt government nor the dumbass public. Therefore, anything giving these people more power, such as my information, would be bad.


On a whole the closer you live to major terrorist attractions the more willing you are to give up some privacy not to be killed in a terrorist attack. If you don't live close enough to say NYC or the Baltimore harbor tunnel you can't fully grasp the reality of the situation. I'm not saying to give up all expectations to privacy but you don't realize how real the threat of a major terrorist attack is until you experience it first hand, not just on TV.


There are plenty of reasons why preserving our right to privacy is important. For example, the world is becoming more bent on political correctness, multiculturalism, etc., to the point that there is a push to criminalize thoughts. So if I say something in a conversation that should be private, I could lose my job, be crucified by the media, or in some places be charged with a crime. I don't want to have parts of my private conversation taken out of context and wind up being charged with one of these "hate crimes" or deemed a terrorist because I may have an unpopular point of view.

In my opinion (which is correct), the erosion of the right to privacy is an erosion of the rights of the individual and a movement towards an ever more socialist society. Reduction of my privacy will make it easier for the government to redistribute my wealth. It will become easier to force me to be double and triple taxed. It will make it easier for the government and/or private oranizations or individuals to segment the population and categorize people (good or bad) by their association or affiliation with certain groups. Of course this is done already, but imagine it being done on a scale that is orders of magnitude beyond what we have seen so far.

It will also become easier for the government and others to monitor your behavior for whatever purpose. Suppose you went out and bought a pack of cigarretes for your father-in-law and used your credit card--then two months later your medical insurance premiums are increased because you reported when you got it that you didn't smoke. There are probably hundreds of other scenarious like this.

I know these examples might seem a little extreme, but they are examples of what will eventually happen if privacy is not protected.