I’ve been keeping up with the news recently, and as you’ve probably seen, this last week has been marked by several shocking revelations concerning the conduct of the National Security Agency and the federal government’s overall attitudes toward the privacy of the American people. It’s spawned a vigorous debate, but to me, the answer couldn’t be any clearer: No matter what pretexts the presidential administration might have about protecting the American people, the government simply does not have the right to poke their nose into what goes on in the privacy of your own home.
Bottom line: Your home is your sanctuary. And in your home, you should be able to do whatever you want for how long you want without worrying about someone spying on you.
The fact is, this country was built on a few fundamental principles, not least of which is the inalienable right to privacy and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. Under the U.S. Constitution, we as citizens are entitled to no less, which means what we do in our living rooms, kitchens, and basements is off-limits to prying eyes. That’s one of our most basic rights as Americans, is it not? And if the government gets its way, it’s going to have free reign to invade our homes and disrupt the lives of you and everybody living under your roof.
Think about what that could mean for a second. Our location, our conversations, our hobbies—authorities could know everything about you without ever having talked to you. Who we speak to on the phone, who we email, who we tie up, whom we associate with—the government thinks they should have free access to all of it.
It’s like something out of 1984!
Look, I get that we live in troubled times and it’s important for law enforcement to have the tools necessary to keep the American people safe. After all, there are a lot of very sick and twisted people out there. But the fact is, if we give Uncle Sam a blank check to do whatever he deems necessary, it’s not going to stop at a few wiretaps. I mean, today it’s your phone calls, tomorrow you might see the police kicking down your door, poking in every corner of your home like you’ve got something to hide, which you don’t because you’re innocent.
And it could get even worse than that. After all, once Big Brother has the go-ahead to meddle in our personal lives with impunity, who knows where it could end? By the time it’s all said and done, we could be living in some kind of twisted totalitarian state where our private lives are thrust out into the open, every secret revealed. Can you imagine how embarrassing that could be? To have everyone in the country know what you do behind closed doors with, say, I don’t know, vacuum cords and shackles? Imagine what the court of public opinion would think about you. They’d probably want to hang you right there on the spot. So, if that breach of personal privacy were to start happening, are we going to feel safe in our own homes? Are we going to be able to trust our neighbors? It’s pretty scary to think about, and frankly, it’s pretty disturbing.
That’s why I think it’s important that we as a democratic society make our voices heard on this matter. It’s been said that those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither, and I couldn’t agree more. The right to privacy is sacrosanct. And if we voluntarily forfeit that right? Well, that’s just not the America I want to live in.