Freedom and security

I have followed the PRISM revelations with dismay. Despite attempts to downplay its significance by those who assert that “privacy is old-fashioned” or “if you have done nothing wrong then you have nothing to fear”, a line has been crossed that ought not to have been without major public discussion. There has been a presumption of privacy for hundreds of years, and totalitarianism is not unthinkable in our so-called “free” societies.

In New Zealand the increasingly unimpressive-looking government has put forward legislation in this area that seems ill-conceived and is at the very least far too rushed.

There is Public meeting tonight, and a national protest planned for Saturday. It is true that some people attend far too many protests, but it seems to me that if you are ever going to protest anything, it should be this. Selling off state assets seems potentially much less serious. I really wonder what Richard Nixon, or even Robert Muldoon, would have done with the proposed spying powers.

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