Lessons on Libertarianism #4: The Fight for Privacy

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“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”–4th Amendment U.S. Constitution

The right to privacy is one of the key battles in the war the citizens have against the government. We are in a constant struggle over government intrusion into our personal lives every second of the day. With the new age in which we live, we are even more exposed than ever.

The LP Platform is as follows:

Libertarians advocate individual privacy and government transparency. We are committed to ending government’s practice of spying on everyone. We support the rights recognized by the Fourth Amendment to be secure in our persons, homes, property, and communications. Protection from unreasonable search and seizure should include records held by third parties, such as email, medical, and library records.

The right to privacy goes way back to the time of the British Empire occupation of the North American continent. The crown would seize property, throw people in jail, search them illegally, without any due process of law. One of the first acts of our new government was to ensure this type of tyrannical rule could not be perpetrated against the people again. They crafted the 4th Amendment as essential to a free society. The government shouldn’t be allowed to have this type of tyrannical rule and the people should have a way to protect themselves under the law.

As technology has advanced so has the government’s power to intrude into our private acts. The court in the 1960’s said that citizens have the right to privacy with the Griswold case. Back then the only problem we had was the use of condoms. Today the game has changed. We are in a technological era where all of our private information is stored on servers around the world and it leaves us open to intrusion. The government has the ability to spy on us in multiple ways. Listen to our phone calls, see our internet searches, know what books we check out from the library, etc. Are we at the point where we will have to be barcoded on the back of our necks so they can track our every movement?

The biggest imperative of a free society is to fight back against this type of tyranny. We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights for a reason and it needs to be applied at all costs. The moment we concede the privacy debate that is the moment we throw away any freedom we have left. The old argument that if you have nothing to hide then you shouldn’t care is what leads to an over oppressive state.

Keep fighting the good fight and join us next week for our next lesson on libertarianism.

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