Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters

This TED Talk by Glenn Greenwald is really inspiring.

Glenn Greenwald was one of the first reporters to see the Edward Snowden files, with their revelations about the United States’ extensive surveillance of private citizens.

In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels.
That source was the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency’s spying system proved to be some of the most explosive news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security and information privacy.

About this debate, Greenwald always supported the concept that you need to care about privacy, even if you’re “not doing anything you need to hide.”

I think that a great point of the talk is the following:

Over the last 16 months, as I’ve debated this issue around the world, every single time somebody has said to me, “I don’t really worry about invasions of privacy because I don’t have anything to hide.” I always say the same thing to them. I get out a pen, I write down my email address. I say, “Here’s my email address. What I want you to do when you get home is email me the passwords to all of your email accounts, not just the nice, respectable work one in your name, but all of them, because I want to be able to just troll through what it is you’re doing online, read what I want to read and publish whatever I find interesting. After all, if you’re not a bad person, if you’re doing nothing wrong, you should have nothing to hide.”

Not a single person has taken me up on that offer.

I think this sentence will be the introduction to my next book, focused on online privacy.

So, here the full talk: take a sit and watch, it’s enlightening!


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