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Wendy McElroy: Silence and Soul in the Crypto Cold War – the Evolution of Privacy

•, Wendy McElroy

The Orwellian culture is designed to eliminate privacy in order to make nonconformity and dissent impossible. In breaking the spirit of its citizens, Oceania denies them individuality and their humanity.

Cryptography returns the power of privacy to individuals. In privacy, they can reach their human potential.

Privacy is under attack for reasons similar to those in Oceania. Without privacy, political and social dissent becomes difficult to impossible to express—a situation that favors government. Total surveillance is the cornerstone of total social control. Totalitarian regimes rely upon secret police, surveillance, induced compliance, snitches, and massive data banks to assert their authority. The challenge is not only to make people obey but also to create an environment that discourages the emergence of dissent in the first place; less violent methods are preferred because they arouse less backlash. A side effect of such repression is the destruction of diverse thoughts and feelings, which strips people of their humanity.

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