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The excellent civil liberties blogger Glenn Greenwald is making the rounds talking up his new book on the two-tiered justice system in the United States. He spoke with Russia Today about the book and the US surveillance state.
In the interview, Greenwald clearly articulates why privacy is integral to not only democracy but also human dignity and creative expression:
The real reason why people intuitively know that privacy is so crucial is because it's when, it's only when we are able to do things without external judgment being cast upon us, without external eyes watching are we able to experiment with new forms of thought and behavior, to explore the realms of dissent, to question and challenge orthodoxy. It's only when we don't fear that people will be judging us and condemning us are we really free to do things beyond just what conformity requires. It's really the area in which dissent and creativity and exploration reside, and when you take away privacy — both at a state and societal level or at an individual level — what you're really doing is destroying that crucial human opportunity to be able to, on one's own, away from the prying eyes of others, decide for oneself who one is, what one is, who one wants to be, what one wants to think about…
He also spoke at length on these subjects with Eliot Spitzer on the former Governor's Current TV show. You can see that interview here.