Private Thoughts

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Garret Keizer, a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine, contributing writer to Mother Jones, and the author of Privacy, explores privacy rights in the face of technological change, terrorism and inequality.


Garret Keizer

Comments [9]

gary from queens

@John A

There are no guarrentees with big government republicans like Romney. However, the conservatives in the party, and Paul Ryan, favor big government out of the lives of citizens.

The national security hawks do favor abridging privacy of our enemies, but unlike the liberal busybodies who think gov knows best, they are not looking to violate privacy of amer citizens.

So the answer is yes. your chances are better with conservatives and libetarians than liberal seeking to make the central gov all powerful----like obama is.

Aug. 21 2012 11:53 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I just ran across an NY Times article the other day that fits right in w/the Mark Zuckerberg clip & Mr. Keizer's mention of commercial interests: It's about how Facebook put users' photos into a database without their consent, which is illegal in Germany.

Aug. 21 2012 11:49 AM
rose-ellen from jackson heights

There is no inherent "right to privacy" in the constitution .We have the right to be free of undue searches, we have the right to our private property, but there is no inherent right to walk down a public street and be free of being watched.

Aug. 21 2012 11:44 AM
Henry from Woodside

Thinker and visionary Jaron Lanier once commented that privacy is different to different people. He said that for some privacy is the right to be left alone while for others it's the right to be anonymous.

Perhaps we should consider Judge Potter Stewart's comment about pornography about privacy- it's hard to define but we "know it when I see it."

Aug. 21 2012 11:39 AM
John A

Gary from Queens,
and replacing this with a Republican would improve things? Your number one inconvenient truth.

Aug. 21 2012 11:39 AM

It's more than an issue of willingly giving up privacy for convenience (i.e., online), it's that some of us (dinosaurs) simply don't get how to do things like disabling cookies and all the other hidden things Big Corporate loads onto our computers without us knowing or agreeing.

Aug. 21 2012 11:36 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Our NOTIONS about privacy may have changed, but not our THOUGHTS. Because there is no thought to it. Because what's operative here is submission to crackberry (etc.) addiction.

Aug. 21 2012 11:36 AM
gary from queens

Our right to privacy has been eroded even further under this "drone-happy" administration.

By mandating that everyone's medical records be digitized will open it up to virtually anyone inside and outside of government.

On March 23, 2012, Voice of America news reported that the "Obama administration has crafted new guidelines that will extend the amount of time the U.S. intelligence community can retain personal information about Americans, even if they have no connection with terrorism."

On May 15, 2012, the Washington Times reported that the Obama had ordered investigations into the private affairs of Romney campaign donors; releasing it to the public; thereby discouraging future donations to Romney.

On November 14, 2011, Declan McCullagh reported in Obama's DoJ would start enforcing "anti computer hacking laws" against hackers? No! Against law-abiding computer users who wish to retain privacy online. The Justice Department argues that it must be able to prosecute violations of Web sites' often-ignored, always-unintelligible "terms of service" policies. That would make it a crime to use a fake name on Facebook or lie about your weight in an online dating profile at a site like

And talking about privacy, on October 06, 2011, reported that the Obama DoJ apparently doesn't have it's hands full with "man-caused disasters" (translation: "Islamic terrorism"), because it had taken a Wisconsin family farm to court in enforcing a Agriculture Dept law that prevents people from drinking unpasturized milk from their own cows.

And last April 6, 2011, the Administration supported Illinois state attorney general Lisa Madigan's initiative to release the names of guns owners in response to an Associated Press request. Publication of that list would have told the criminal class where the guns are, which could be useful to two different sorts of lawbreakers: gun thieves who want to know where the guns are and burglars who want to know where they are not.

On December 21, 2011, it was reported that hackers who supported OWS published private data of police officers in 'retaliation' for OWS evictions. Yes, Obama's hero's, these 99 percenters, violated the privacy of police officers who were carrying out the lawful, sensible, and necessary orders of their superiors----Democrat Mayors, no less---- by publishing their home addresses and phone numbers.

On Feb 13, 2012, Tucker Carlson reported in the that the mouthpiece for this Administration, Media Matters, sent a memo calling for the hiring of private investigators 'to look into the personal lives' of Fox employees. Carleson reported that on Sept. 29, 2009, Karl Frisch emailed a memo to his bosses at Media Matters for America. explaining why they should "hire private investigators to look into the personal lives of Fox News anchors, hosts, reporters, prominent contributors, senior network and corporate staff."

Aug. 21 2012 11:31 AM
oscar from ny

I really dont mind technology and humans intertwining to help us with our daily chores, and also accounting everyone, that way criminal activity can be monitored by everyone, indeed the internet has become our ally in combatting boredoom and evil..
Ps: i want the goverment and everyone to know my bussiness...dont want be alone in these streets where anyone can attack me...i would even go as far as getting a chip inplanted that way my life could be nore accomadating..

Aug. 21 2012 11:09 AM

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