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The Fall of Personal Privacy from Great Height
Government Sponsored Invasion of Privacy
I recently read a quote from Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City, to the effect that drone surveillance of United States citizens was scary, but inevitable. While I agree wholeheartedly with the scary part, such surveillance of our citizenry is anything but inevitable. Putting aside for the moment the affront to human rights which the killing of innocent civilians by weaponized drones represents, it is the death of privacy that may be “inevitable”.
Inevitable means “unable to be avoided” or “impossible to escape” or simply “certain to occur”. Aerial electronic surveillance of every man, woman and child in this country is, at least for now, none of these. In fact, the only thing inevitable about such a nightmarish scenario is that the surveillance drones will fly all across this country unless we mount a grassroots, unified ground campaign against such a program. And understand this: there are presently no federal regulations or protections on any kind that limit in anyway the number or intrusive capability of domestic government sponsored and controlled surveillance drones!
It is said that the only thing necessary for evil to rise (no pun intended) is for people of good conscience to stand by and do nothing. In this case, the evil will elevate on the wings of pilotless aircraft programmed to invade our collective privacy at a level heretofore unknown in modern civilization. And the immense irony is that the same technology that created this wondrous informational age we now enjoy will be turned against us. Government sponsored aerial surveillance will simultaneously record, analyze and inventory each and every pixel of every citizen’s journey along that informational highway.
But more than that, it will forever render us less free to explore the mysteries of the universe because we will always wonder who is watching. However, in this case, we will not be looking over our shoulders; we will be searching the skies.
Inevitable? Not on my watch!!