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Re: "We have to destroy privacy in order to protect privacy"

What is privacy?

Just now the political representatives show the world 
how protection of privacy looks like in the world's 
leading Nation. Victim is the President himself who 
unwillingly has become a benchmark case because of 
his sexual affairs.

Although this is a matter of law, only political 
strategies are executed.

Protection of privacy turns out to be the most important 
human rights issue in this information technology age.

Definition of privacy is difficult. It includes not only 
data protection; it draws a line at the border where a 
society is allowed to get concerned about an individual.

Louis Brandeis, Member of the Supreme Court, said in 1890: 
The right for privacy is the right for an individual to 
live for him/her-self. Protection of privacy includes 
protection of private information, safety, protection 
of communication, and protection of territory (house, 
public space, and work place).

Following several articles in American newspapers, 
privacy at the work place is in great danger. 
Surveillance is very often made part of the contract 
with the employer. A Report by the American Management 
Association says that two thirds of employers are 
controlling emails and other work at the computer, 
and are tapping phone calls. Surveillance cameras 
are used, e.g., to trace movements of employees in 
company buildings; regular tests for drugs, requests 
for intimate information and various psychological 
tests are performed.

Many people in the US may believe this is normal. 
Who tells them that this a violation of privacy 
rights ? The government ? Bill Gates ? Tim May ? 

Tim May wrote:
>To be more concrete, if I compile lists of who is writing articles on
>Usenet, I have no obligation to either purge these records or 
>show them to others or not sell them or _anything_. The 
>government cannot get at myrecords except under limited 

If companies are using personal data, which they have 
gathered from open sources, without explicit permission 
for other purposes than in direct business with that 
person, then they are violating data protection rules. 
If the sources are not open, then they are also violating 
fair competition rules which may be considered to be 
criminal in some countries.

Tim May wrote:
>Europe's "data privacy laws," which I have been critical of for 
>more than ten years now, are an abomination. While the laws 
>sound well-intentioned, they effectively give the state the power 
>to sift through filing cabinets and disk drives looking for violations.

Sifting through filing cabinets is also clearly a violation 
of privacy rights. However, does it mean that privacy is 
uncontrollable?  Alternatively, the only protection is 
not to put any personal data on a network. Use your 
pseudonym instead. Strong encryption does not help, 
because the receiver side may not respect your privacy.

Theodor Schlickmann