Today I am participating in “The Day We Fight Back“. Maybe all of three people will see it here. That’s fine; I didn’t do it because I thought I would drive gazillions of eyeballs to their site from mine, nor because I’m some sort of Internet Meme Purveyor™ that would instantly popularize ‘The Cause’. I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do.
I dunno about you, but I’ve done some things that I’m not that proud of. And there’s evidence of them online, I’m sure. Although they probably don’t rise to the level of criminal activity, I am doubtless susceptible to ‘persuasion’ and pressure if SomeOne™ were to threaten to make them public. And when we are governed by the rule of men and not the rule of law, human nature makes it inevitable that that SomeOne™ will yield to the temptation to use that info against – if not me, then some other poor schmoo. “To Protect Us From Terror!” “To Save The Children!” “To Keep Us From The Red Menace!”
Yes, there are clearly existential enemies of western civilization that would destroy it if they could. They do organize via electronic communications; evidence of those hostile activities should be used against them, either in a court of law, or as a military intelligence asset. But the indiscriminate hoovering-up of all phone calls and internet traffic, in a vague hope that some useful patterns can be teased out, does far more harm than good. Remember Ben Franklin:
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.