Because of how most humans work, we tend to forget that while some problems may have a technological bent to them it is still something that we have seen in the past. We think that all problems are new and we have to come up with new and innovative ways to fix them every time. But that is just not true. If we just take a page out of our history books we can see the ways that some problems were fixed or not fixed in the past and we can use that as a reference. We are starting to see that now when it comes to how far our privacy rights go when we are on the internet.
The reason why we are bringing up the past is because privacy has always been a problem. How much privacy as a human being should you give up in the name of security? There are some people who are willing to give up a lot of privacy in the name of security and there are some of people who are willing to give up almost no privacy even if it means less security in the end. The real question who is right?
If you take a look at past patterns then you will notice that we have always seen these privacy battles rear their ugly heads every time we get a new piece of technology that blows up. As soon as a new piece of technology hits the mainstream, in comes the people who want to be able to control it. Some of the regulations that might come about can be good because it is there to stop serious crimes from happening. Other parts of the new regulations are downright unnecessary because it is just there to stop a portion of the technology that some special interest group may not like. Laws like this cannot be made just because a special interest group is able to pay out money to lawmakers.
And that is what we see going on when it comes to the internet right now. There are people who want to regulate it way more than it should be just because of private interest. They say that they want to do this in the name of security but to some it seems like it is just a power grab by higher powers. Right now it takes a lengthy court process to be able to spy on people when they are on their computers. With some of the new laws coming out that is not the case. The process will make it a lot easier for private and government interest to be able to track what people are doing online. These new regulations have people who care about privacy in an uproar.
As a person who uses the internet, you should really care about having someone being able to spy on you for the slightest of reasons. While you may not think you are doing anything that needs to be protected by privacy when you are on the internet you should not feel comfortable that it would stop there. When it comes to claiming security, some people will go above and beyond their initial assessment. While they will claim they are stopping at the internet, they will go the next step and the next thing you know your privacy is being invaded offline as well.
So you have to remember, when you let people get away with taking away your privacy rights it is just not going to stop at the part that you do not care about.
photo: Alan Cleaver