May 19, 2006


An interesting article by Bruce Schneier on privacy in Wired. Mr Schneier is the creator of the Two Fish encryption algorythm that got into the final five short list for what was to become the Advanced Encryption Standard, the replacement for the Data Encryption Standard. He knows his stuff, and he says:
Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we're doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.
He also makes a point similar to that of Whitfield Diffie, one of the co-inventors of Public Key Cryptography, all the way back in 1993:
No right of private conversation was enumerated in the constitution. I don't suppose it occurred to anyone at the time that it could be prevented.
At the time privacy was protected by the laws of physics, if you wanted a private conversation you would just go away from where people might be listening and talk quietly. Being able to talk and act privately is just as important to free speach as to be able to talk publicly.
Too many wrongly characterize the debate as "security versus privacy." The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny, whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that's why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a nutshell: "The real choice is liberty versus control!"

<<< What I want to be when I grow up: a tall tree, or the itching powder in Big Brother's jockstrap! >>>

<<< Freedom's Friends: titter with Tiffany (
and weep with Witness ( >>>

3:19 pm  
Blogger chris said...

Yes it is, and I choose liberty every time.

6:39 pm  

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