Privacy, democracy, and security

The Philosophers' Magazine 63:99-105 (2013)
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Abstract
It is especially hard, at present, to read the newspapers without emitting a howl of anguish and outrage. Philosophy can heal some wounds but, in this case, political action may prove a better remedy than philosophy. It can therefore feel odd trying to think philosophically about surveillance at a time like this, rather than joining with like-minded people to protest the erosion of our civil liberties, the duplicity of our governments, and the failings in our political institutions - including our political parties – revealed by the succession of leaks dripping away this the summer. Still, philosophy can help us to think about what we should do, not merely what we should believe. Thus, in what follows I draw on my previous work on privacy, democracy and security, in order to highlight aspects of recent events which – or so I hope – may prove useful both for political thought and action.
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