Matthew Dowd of the National Journal wrote an excellent piece on Wiki-Leaks which takes a very nice perspective on Privacy when it comes to Journalists, the US Government, and the US People.
I recently guest blogged on Spin Sucks where I felt new tools and networks coming out will give us more control regarding how we distribute content and communicate, including who gets to see this content and communication. One response to my post was that everything is public on the internet. But really that is untrue. Business’s like Google might know all the websites we visit and see into so much of our lives, the only reason we use them is based on trust. We have a right to privacy. Just because some of our communication technologies lack privacy doesn’t mean we don’t want it. Remember smoke signals? I am sure they had secret codes to not everyone could read them?
So the article by Mr. Dowd cuts to the heart of Privacy. Wouldn’t transparency be more acceptable if everyone including businesses had to behave this way? In NY State we just blocked Natural Gas drilling because the companies refuse to say what chemicals are being used. NY Times LINK Meanwhile Pennsylvania is experiencing water pollution from the gas drilling. Why are they allowed Privacy and I am not? If I could monitor everything Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg did, sat in on their private strategy meetings, always knew the truth behind their actions, I would trust more, even if I did not agree with them.
Is this any different for our relationship with our Governmental bodies?