Thursday, January 3, 2008

Big Brother gets bigger, says global privacy study

Apparently the United States isn't the only country in the world experiencing an all out assault on the individuals right to privacy (though we are one of the most egregious offenders). According to a new international privacy report "governments around the world are increasingly invading the privacy of citizens with surveillance, identification systems, and archiving of private data."

This study should serve as a wake up call to everyone who believes in liberty and is concerned about the anti-democratic expansion of the government's authority and ability to monitor nearly everything we do.

CNET reports:

There was also an increase in the trend of governments archiving data on the geographic, communications, and financial records of citizens, as well as enacting legislation intended to increase the reach into individuals' private lives, the report found.


Specifically, governments have implemented or proposed use of fingerprint and iris-scanning biometrics, real-time tracking and monitoring through communications channels, geographic vehicle and mobile phone tracing, national DNA databases, global information-sharing agreements, and the elimination of anonymity in cyberspace.


In terms of statutory protections and privacy enforcement, the United States is the worst country in the "democratic world" and is outranked by both India and the Philippines on overall privacy protection. The U.S. has fallen into the "black" category reserved for countries with "endemic surveillance."

It almost goes without saying that the driving force behind this global assault on privacy are the publics fear - constantly stoked by elected leaders - of illegal immigrants and the threat of terrorism. The real question we must ask is just how real these "threats" are, and, how much safer does these kinds of government techniques really make us? In other words, is it really worth giving up our freedom and privacy just to be arguably a little safer? Of course not...

For the full story click here, and to view the full report click here.

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