Thoughts on: The Death of Privacy
by Beauchamp Art
“New director of UK eavesdropping agency accuses US tech firms of becoming ‘networks of choice’ for terrorists”
“Privacy has never been ‘an absolute right’, according to the new director of GCHQ […] [The Internet] should be a deal rooted in the democratic values we share. That means addressing some uncomfortable truths. Better to do it now than in the aftermath of greater violence.” [Quinn, 2014]
And so GCHQ endorses Consequentialist Utilitarianism; the ends justify the means. The state may be defended at whatever cost, the individual has no rights, they are at the whim of the hierarchy, of those already with power. Once they have claimed the people’s rights and eliminated them, convincing the people they never had rights, that they always have been under the boot of history, then the people can never again stand for themselves, because they will wholly believe that they cannot, and will never be able or allowed to question their own lack of rights, as they will be written out of history. “He who controls the past, controls the future.” [Orwell, 1949]
The threat of ‘greater violence’ surrenders individual will to fear, and surrenders one’s individuality in the name of protection, and surrenders power in the name of fear and protection. Rights cease to be protected as they become a threat to personal safety. We may surrender ourselves to save ourselves, give our strength to the greater power, who may suspend the Sword of Damocles above the heads of the citizens, using the threat of death and terror to control, and controlling the exchange of information so it all flows upward to the pyramid head.
Eric King of Privacy International points out that GCHQ’s dirty games include “forcing companies to handover their customers’ data under secret orders, then secretly tapping the private fibre optic cables between the same companies’ data centres anyway,” [Quinn, 2014] so are evidently willing to muddy its hands as it ties up its boots.
Hannigan said that “Terrorists have always found ways of hiding their operations,” [Quinn, 2014] however, here GCHQ hides their operation in plain site, and pits terror against terror. Even the FBI is willing to directly undermine the validity of privacy, enacting more fear, threatening that “‘justice may be denied because of a locked phone or an encrypted hard drive,’ […] Without a compromise, ‘homicide cases could be stalled, suspects could walk free, and child exploitation victims might not be identified or recovered.’” [Quinn, 2014] Digital privacy must be revoked or you may be victimised. But theses rights must not just be overturned, but their validity denied, their history arranged; human rights are seen to have become detrimental to public security. To prevent the actions of terrorists coming to fruition, the people threaten must be terrorised into surrendering their rights; their privacy, their humanity; their power. Once this power has been willingly removed it may never be returned.
“No one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution.” [Orwell, 1949]
Democracy is dead, long live Democracy.
…And we will sing in praise at the death of human rights, personal freedom and social liberty…
…The madness of Human Rights will end…
…And we will forget the meaning of rights, and wrongs, for we will be unable to question our lack of rights and how we are wrong because we will lack the words to do so. And we will forgo privacy, and such a concept will be inconceivable, as to endorse privacy would be to condone a threat to safety.
Our earthly protectors will be deified; benevolent Gods-of-Men protecting humanity against itself and inhumanity. And we will smile as we are pressed into the dirt; “a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” [Orwell, 1949]
- Orwell, George. (1949) Nineteen Eighty-Four.
- Quinn, Ben; Ball, James; Rushe, Dominic (2014) GCHQ chief accuses US tech giants of becoming terrorists’ ‘networks of choice’. The Guardian [Online] – http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/03/privacy-gchq-spying-robert-hannigan – Accessed 3.11.14
- Fig 1: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/2128080/thumbs/o-DAILY-EXPRESS-570.jpg