This is a follow-up to my article “Is Edward Snowden a traitor?”
The main critique of Edward Snowden is that NSA surveillance curtails terroristic activity and makes citizens safer. That is, the government monitoring and logging all your communication exchanges with other people makes you safer. And Snowden screwed it all up.
Well if this is true, then how much freedom would you willingly give up to, as Snowden put it, live comfortably?
Imagine, for example, that the crime rate falls by 50% over the period of a year or two. You are obviously very encouraged by this news. Then you discover that the government has managed to reduce the crime rate this radically because it secretly installed cameras in the homes of all the citizens in the country and it monitors those cameras 24-7. Everything you do behind closed doors has been monitored secretly by a third party.
How would you feel about that? Would you sooner have the original crime rate with freedom? Or would you have chosen to be monitored with the 50% drop?
And how about a 90% drop in the crime rate? And all you have to do is allow the government to know your very thoughts?
And how about a 100% drop in the crime rate? And all you have to do is allow the government to control your very thoughts?
How much freedom would you surrender to live comfortably?