I cannot tell you exactly what the readership of this Blog is but I can tell you it has grown dramatically over the past few months. Hopefully, some credit goes to content and the fact we are trying to deal with an issue of importance to all of you: Your privacy. Particularly when it comes to your name and personal data.
My grass-roots movement believes you should have control over this private information and be paid each time it is sold. The goal is to pass federal legislation that will give individuals this control, but we are dealing with an unusually high level of complacency in the country today due to a number of reasons which include busy schedules and other priorities. I understand, but that does not alleviate the problem.
George Orwell did predict today’s identity crisis in his classic novel, 1984. Go to Jackie Jura’s site, “Orwell Today,” for some fascinating reading about Big Brother’s Surveillance activities. Anything the main character, Winston, did was being observed by the Party. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the stark similarity between this and Bush’s use of spying techniques at the National Security Administration (NSA).
If you look up the word complacency in the dictionary, it is defined as a “quiet satisfaction; contentment; often self-satisfaction, or smugness.” I like the last one, smugness, because many of us are smug in our feeling that there’s no way we could “really” lose our privacy rights in this great country. And then came the Patriot Act, followed by the massive personal data breaches of 2005, and most recently, the NSA spying.
I received a comment recently that expresses Orwell’s hopelessness in 1984. The responder said: “Jack it will not get any better.” This was a reflection on the greed of the merchants of your name and personal data, and how money is the only object. There was another bit of pessimism I share, the fact your data will never be secure. Your protection and privacy will always play second fiddle to the bottom line. Unless…we all join together to take control over this private information.
Maybe it is time for an independent political party based on individual privacy, with a platform of all citizens taking control over their names and personal data, and at the same time getting a piece of the action. Something to rev up the masses and get some action on this issue! We could combine the stand on privacy with other topics of concern like animal rights, environmentalism and political reform, to name a few.
I would really like to hear your comments on this idea, since the general attitude toward politics today is that we need drastic changes from the top down. Based on the unsatisfactory track record of the Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders, and, certainly, the incompetence of the current administration, people are ready for change. So, please send your comments re. whether you are open to an independent party concept that would include the protection of your privacy.
You might be interested in the fact that fifty years ago, when party identification was a badge of honor, only 23 percent of the population was registered as independent. Today it is 40 percent, which reflects the enormous dissatisfaction level Americans have with the two major parties. We need to develop a new kind of politics, constitutionally rooted, and with a return to the values promised all of us by the 4th Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”
However, we can’t do it with a complacency level that far outweighs the commandeering of our privacy on a daily basis by government and business. You be the judge and let me know.