Mindfully.org  

Home | Air | Energy | Farm | Food | Genetic Engineering | Health | Industry | Nuclear | Pesticides | Plastic
Political | Sustainability | Technology | Water
PCE contamination


How important is the right of privacy to our democracy? 
Fundamental Right 

TWO CENTS / SF Chronicle 5jan02

Question: How important is the right of privacy to our democracy?

Mark Ungar, Crockett

In a way, it is the very point of democracy. It sounds hackneyed but it's true: Our founding fathers created America to be a place where there is freedom to be, do and think however you please as long as you don't harm others. If a government attempts to control peoples' private lives, it only breeds the desire and motivation to overthrow that government. .

Terry Anderson, Sonoma

Privacy is the essential element of democracy. Voting must be in private, our personal business and what happens in our homes must be private, what we say on the telephone or in mail must be private. If not, we better set sail in a fleet of ships and go back to where we or our families came from. .

Joanne Denison, Danville

It is the cornerstone. It is also the Achilles heel. Banding together against a common enemy is vital, but the surrender of privacy has a high price tag and may not be refundable. .

Lisa Miya-Jervis, Oakland

If we can't expect our political activities to remain private, democracy can't function in a genuine way. When the U.S. attorney general says that we're living in a time when Americans need to watch what they say, it's naive to the point of folly to expect that the government will use its newly gained power to invade privacy only to track down actual criminals. Activists and the political opposition to the Bush administration will become targets, quashing the dissent necessary for a vital democracy. .

Ed Colloff, San Mateo

Privacy is essential to a democracy. Without it there is no freedom for open debate on issues and criticism of our government. Starting down the slippery slope of "security overrides privacy" leads toward totalitarianism. Our courts must, on an individual-case basis, supervise any limits on privacy. .

David Kurrent, Pinole

In a democracy, citizens consent to be governed. This consent requires that privacy be respected while government operations and decisions are known to all. This consent is violated when a felonious government official is in charge of a citizen database and prisoners are denied legal assistance while the government operates in secret. Without privacy, democracy is lost. .

Randall Smith, El Cerrito

The right to privacy is directly linked to all of our rights as U.S. citizens, starting with the First Amendment. If citizens lose their right to privacy, how can they even vote without fear of recrimination? It seems as if Orwell's ominous view of the future is coming to unfortunate fruition in this country. .

Kevin Osinski, Emerald Hills

While the Constitution does not explicitly define a right to privacy, I believe such a right is inherent in the democratic philosophy behind the Bill of Rights. Respect for the individual is a fundamental pillar of American society, and protects us from the tyranny against which we rebelled in 1776. We must never lose sight of what our founding fathers established.

If you have come to this page from an outside location click here to get back to mindfully.org