I know this thread is a year old, but not so old as to be irrelevant, so I’d like to add my 2¢.
I respectfully disagree. While my individual right to privacy may not be greater than everyone’s risk to harm when it comes to shitbags like ISIS, I will not, even for a second, entertain the idea of allowing the government to invade my privacy for some illusion that doing so is going to make me safer. Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote may say it best: “Those who would give up essential liberty, for a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”. Keep in mind that this is the government we’re talking about here, not your mom and dad. When you got grounded, and lost your TV privileges, you got them back when your grounding was over; once you surrender one of your rights to the government, you’ll never get it back.
At the risk of sounding like I’m a conspiracy theory nutjob, complete with tinfoil hat, the governments (all governments, not just ours) wet dream is a people with no privacy, no voice, and no means to resist. Am I saying that our government is trying to take away our privacy, and our 1st and 2nd amendment rights? NO, I’m not. Not all at once at least. We have to be careful though, because a little bit here, and a little bit there, and the next thing you know you have little to nothing left. It’s our job to protect our rights, and to speak up when these rights are being violated. It’s already become abundantly clear that the government doesn’t give two shits about your right to privacy, and it’s been exposed time and time again that they’ve been illegally spying on us. If we don’t stand up for our rights, who will?
My individual right to privacy doesn’t come with a clause that says “unless a terrorist group becomes a threat”, “we need to keep the people safe”, or anything else for that matter. If the government thinks that somehow I’ve become a threat, they can bring their evidence to a judge, and if that judge agrees that there is enough to support the issue of a warrant, then they can invade my privacy, but only then.
Mass surveillance of our citizens is not only rude, disrespectful, creepy, and yes, unnecessary, it’s illegal. It’s a direct violation of our constitutional rights to “wiretap”, or otherwise monitor our private correspondence. Whatever you put out there for the public to read (like this post in this forum) is fair game though, and this is how most people get caught (not this forum per se lol, but other forums, and especially social media).
I said something at the beginning of this post, and while writing this, I feel I need to change what I said. I had originally said that “while my individual right to privacy may not be greater than everyone’s risk to harm when it comes to dealing with shitbags like ISIS”, and now that I think about it, that’s NOT how I feel, not entirely anyway. I do believe that my right to privacy is greater than everyone’s risk to harm when it comes to dealing with groups like ISIS, but not because I don’t think everyone’s lives are precious, I do, I just don’t believe that giving up my right to privacy is going to help the government stop ISIS any more than it already is (but it will probably put a lot of people in jail over silly shit that they shouldn’t be in jail for, like using steroids or other drugs).
Let the people who fight for our freedom have the information that the need to keep us safe? That goes right back to the Ben Franklin quote, about liberty and safety. Privacy is a right, and one you enjoy here because of your freedom; can they really be fighting for your freedom when they’re taking it away from you in the process of doing so?
The OP is making a very valid point with his link, and it’s a “liberal” mantra I’ve heard again and again, “If you have nothing to hide, then what are you worried about”. What I’m “worried about” isn’t what you might find, the only thing I’m “worried about” is that if enough people capitulate to the government’s wishes, and give up their rights, eventually there won’t be any rights left to give up.