Right now we have a golden opportunity that we are rarely afforded by our gridlocked political system: A true, full, broad and deep national debate on what we want as far as a balance of security, privacy and convenience.
Yes, it’s a three-cornered debate, not just the two (security and privacy) being held up to scrutiny by much of the media. And since this level of internal scrutiny was established by President George W. Bush and perpetuated by President Barack Obama, it’s pretty much a wash politically.
We’ve already given up much of our privacy to corporate America for the sake of convenience on the Internet and our can’t-live-without-them cellphones. So is for the government to have access to our stuff really all that much of a leap? Is this really all that onerous, given the shape of the world today socially, politically, strategically, technologically, etc.
Do we really care that much about privacy any more? If we do, how much are we willing to give up in security and convenience? Is this all just a case of trying to stuff toothpaste back into the tube?
I’m not presuming to suggest answers to these questions here. I’m merely urging each individual to consider the questions, inform yourselves in the manner and to the degree incumbent on citizens of a democracy, arrive at your own answers and contribute to the national conversation. It’s kind of like voting; if you don’t participate, you have no room to gripe if the results are not to your liking.