Cory Doctorow explains why privacy is vital to our intellectual and personal freedom. Articulate as ever, Doctorow voices what I’ve been trying to sort out in my own mind about privacy for months, ever since the Edward Snowden interview.

It’s only three minutes. Highly worth a listen.

Here are some quotes from Doctorow’s video (embedded below) that I found particularly biting and astute regarding privacy and the NSA:

Spies in this country lack adult supervision and the sense that there’s any proportionality in who you spy on and when you spy on them.

You may be thinking…I don’t have any secrets, nothing’s wrong with me, I don’t care if you know what I do. You’re lucky, right. You probably have friends, people you love, people you care about who either today or some point in their life had secrets that did matter to them; things like their sexual orientation, the fact that they had a disease, their religious beliefs or lack-there-of–And if at some point in their life if those had been disclosed without their permission it would have redounded on them with enormous consequences.

So yes, by all means, celebrate your own privilege and luck in having a skeleton free closet, but don’t insist that the people who don’t (have a skeleton free closet) have something wrong with them.

I think we need the right to choose when we make ourselves public, and that’s the basis of a free and fair society. 

Photo of Cory Doctorow by Cal Evans @flickr

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