Privacy, Freedom and Security

Privacy, Freedom and Security?

Since the recent whistle-blowing of Edward Snowden there has been a huge interest in the USA and elsewhere on the questions of Privacy, Freedom and Security and the price for each. The fact that these questions are even being asked reflects poorly on the intelligence and education of the common man. Privacy, Freedom and Security are all very relative concepts. In absolute terms there is no real freedom in the world and never has been. The freedom of everyone of us has always been constrained by natural limitations and the freedoms of others. Our freedom is always limited by the freedom of others. No-one and nothing is ever really free!

As to Security, no-one and nothing is ever really secure and never has been. We can all be struck down at any moment by a huge number of unpleasant possibilities. It is very relative. The question is the possibility of disaster v the probability of the same. This is the area of security v relative freedom trade-offs.

As to Privacy, that may once have existed to a considerable extent but anyone in the modern world who believes that we have any serious degree of privacy is a fool. It is possible to find out almost anything about anyone. Many politicians and famous people have learned this to their detriment. It was different in the times of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. In the contemporary world the technological sophistication of spying techniques is such that none of us have any real privacy anyway. At present, at least our thoughts are private but how long that will last is anyone’s guess. It may well be that George Orwell merely got the date wrong in his novel, “1984.”