Mass Surveillance and the Citizen Image

Mass Surveillance and the Citizen Image

Here I will offer a defense of the right to privacy in terms of a check on power. Mass surveillance, I contend, erodes the citizenry’s ability to maintain what I’ll call a citizen image with respect to the state, and that this is problematic even if the state is operating benevolently. When there is an asymmetry between how much the state knows about the citizenry and the citizenry about the state — such that the asymmetry is in the state’s favor — the citizenry loses the capacity to bluff the government. This allows for easier state-intervention in the citizen’s lives, which everyone ought to be concerned about. Continue reading Mass Surveillance and the Citizen Image