This post contains a lot of conjecture and speculation.
I logged onto CNN this afternoon to a very disturbing poll evaluation.
Why does this disturb me? I will tell you.
Civil rights and liberties have been hard fought, and well earned in America. Minorities and slaves for quite a long time had hardly any rights at all — until the “3/4th’s Act” was passed, where slaves had 3/4 the vote and rights of a Freeman, the civil war finally brought about social change in America to guarantee the legal standing of all men, regardless of color. The right of universal suffrage, particularly for women, didn’t come until mass arrests, death and court case after court case resulting in the nineteenth amendment to the US Constitution in 1920. We’re still fighting the Gay Marriage argument.
Now, in the 21st century, the people are being “asked” to give up some of their civil rights, particularly the expectations of privacy and liberty, in the name of fighting those who would destroy them.
Why is this a bad thing?
When the Government gets something from citizens… it takes a *lot* for them to give it back. Taxes come to mind. One Republican stance on taxes says “Once they tax something, they’ll NEVER let it go!!!” Let’s apply the same argument to civil rights and liberties, then. Still, why is this a bad thing?
Let’s assume we let SOPA and CISPA come to pass. The Government can now actively monitor your private emails, text messages and any electronic database without a search warrant. Great, we find the bad guys, and eliminate them. The world is now a happy place again, right?
Nope. Because now, these privacy rights we’ve given up have now become TOOLS to find SUSPECTED bad guys. People who *might* do something. *MIGHT.* Conspiracy is a very dirty word… and now, in this world, you can’t even consider such a thing — even in your own mind.
It reminds me of an episode of Stargate SG-1 I once saw. In an alternate timeline, Earth had been attacked by bad guys, and people willingly gave up their rights of privacy and the right to vote because of widespread panic and unrest. Now, the President of the United States in this show had become an effective dictator, and his military brass, blinded by loyalty, not seeing the bigger picture, kept enabling him by saying “The threat is still out there!” That’s the problem. It always will be.
Snap back to today. Is *this* where you want your home to go to? The days of Political Officers and loyalties being questioned by the State?
America. The Land of the Free — and the Home of the Brave? Let’s keep it that way. Don’t EVER sacrifice your expectations of privacy or will as a private citizen without due process of law. When you do, the bad guys have won.
- CISPA Unlikely To Pass In Current Form (eteknix.com)
- Conservatives Try to Rewrite Civil Rights History (Again) (prospect.org)
- Even the ACLU Says Reid’s Gun Legislation Threatens Privacy Rights, Civil Liberties (joemiller.us)
- Internet rights activists launch #CISPABlackout over ‘Big Brother law’ (euronews.com)
- ACLU: Gun Control Bill Threatens Privacy Rights and Civil Liberties (sgtreport.com)
- CISPA is Dead, for Now (disclose.tv)