So Long Privacy, Hello Transparency

Patsy politicians pandering to plutocratic priorities threaten to pilfer our precious privacy. Lousy legislation like ACTA, SOPA and now CISPA have come to the forefront of this fight, and these bills will all be, hopefully, crushed without mercy beneath  the feet of millions of vigilant citizens.

Still, as disheartening as it may be to hear, these exercises could ultimately prove pointless because privacy is fast going extinct.

Already, most of our communications are being recorded and parsed by some behemoth data mining facility, like Utah’s new 1.2 billion dollar ‘total information awareness’ center, where emails, international calls, and posts online can all be stored forever. So too our actions, as GPSs track us and ever present cameras watch us from street corners, businesses, cell phones, satellites, and remote controlled flying drones.

Even more daunting is what’s yet to come.

Pretty soon, these drones could be the size of a fly, meaning any space, be it bedroom or boardroom, could be compromised. While unauthorized celebrity sex tapes and scandalous business exposés are sure to come out in droves, the end result is that we may be forced to forever abandon any assumptions about being alone.

To top it all off, neuroscientists are delving into the last bastion of secrets – our own minds – unlocking the mysteries of the human brain and figuring out ways to read peoples thoughts. Great, now whenever we want to travel the TSA can give us all a brain cavity search.

As much as we may resist, it seems privacy is unlikely to follow us into the world we are creating. However, as long as we anticipate this, our invasive technology could be a tremendous blessing rather than a horrendous curse.

While the world’s governments and dictators love to use these surveillance tools to protect themselves from the threat of change, these very same powers of awareness, once turned onto the leaders themselves, could invoke a level of transparency the likes of which we’ve never seen.

Instead of trying to fight against the arrival of Big Brother, expect it, then work to ensure it falls into everyone’s hands and not just those at the top. This way every single authority figure will be held accountable to the population they are supposed to serve.

It will be like having a Wikileaks on steroids. No longer will the actions of the powerful be veiled in secrecy, and no longer will they be able to victimize the weak.

Privacy may be going away, but it’s departure could leave humanity with something far greater. When every person on earth knows the rest of the world is potentially watching, when atrocities and abuse no longer have any place left to hide, a far more just civilization will emerge and a brighter future will be upon us.

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