Just How Important is Your Privacy?

As a citizen of the U.S., I have been thinking a lot about this especially with the heightened sense that a terrorist attack is likely to happen by people who are sympathizers with ISIS or other terrorist groups, and living in the U.S.

Of course, I’d like to have my conversations that are documented in texts, voice, social media and email remain private. However, I would be willing to forfeit my privacy to ensure our national security.

Yes, I am for giving the government every tool necessary to keep us safe. But I also understand that there are many that probably disagree.

Even today, being discussed in the news is Apple’s refusal to comply with the federal government to unlock one of the San Bernardino  terrorist’s iPhone. Apple believes the fight is about security and privacy for everyone.

In C|Net article, How an iPhone became the FBI’s public enemy number one (FAQ) Tim Cook, Apple CEO argues that the “very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect” are at stake. The government believes that Apple is only concerned about protecting its brand.

In this case, I believe our national security takes precedence over privacy. Now what that means to private companies, I cannot begin to know.

On a personal level, I guess I am saying that having the government track my activity to ensure I am not a security threat, I suppose that I am okay with that. I would not like this to inhibit me in speaking freely nor inhibit how I live.  I believe the government should have compelling evidence that’s been verified in order to support a reason for placing my name on a no-fly list or a warrant of my property. But, if they had enough evidence to support reasonable cause, so be it.

I say that because I would want the government to have access to all the available tools necessary to protect its citizens to the best of its ability. Besides, the government has its purposes from God:

Therefore who resists the authorities resist what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Romans 13:2-3a ESV

Just my thoughts.



12 thoughts on “Just How Important is Your Privacy?

  1. I tend to agree with you about personal privacy. If I’m not doing something wrong, then I should have nothing to worry about. On the other hand, reflecting back to the McCarthy hearings and the files kept on citizens by Hoover, we should think long and hard about allowing our government easy access to private information. Also, confidentiality is huge in the business world, whether protecting customers or protecting sensitive and proprietary information. And I am a health care attorney, and I can tell you that encryption and privacy security is paramount. We cannot give the government or anyone else a skeleton key to break encryption. Now last I heard, the FBI only wanted to remove the auto-wiping function (setting to erase device after 10 failed logins), and that is not as bad as requiring Apple to write malware that would break encryption (not sure this is even possible). I might could bend to that for purposes of national security. But considering all the hacking going on, including by foreign countries like Korea and China, reducing private security is not the way we need to go. That opens our financial accounts, passwords, etc., to criminals. So, I lean to the privacy side. There is a difference from a phone company giving up customer information the company stores, such as records of calls, account info., etc., which they routinely do in response to subpoenas, and helping the government break into a secured device purchased by the consumer on which the consumer stores personal data with the expectation of privacy that the company cannot access.


    1. Really appreciate your perspective on this. It is my understanding that the government only wanted Apple to unlock the password on this particular phone, not a backdoor to access information from all phones. While I agree that this is complicated, if someone was planning an attack I would like the government to have eyes and ears. I know that it’s scary. Anyway, this is way too complicated for my brain right now. I yield.


      1. Trick is you can’t just unlock an encrypted device. That requires a hack. So Apple would have to write malicious code to break the encryption. That is unprecedented and dangerous. One hurdle FBI has is the phone is set to wipe after 10 failed password tries. So if they try to hack in, the phone will erase itself. FBI wants Apple to turn off the auto-wipe feature so the FBI can try to hack the encryption. I’m less offended by that. I’m dead set against creating a “back door” that could be used by government or criminal on other phones.


      2. Thanks much! I still think I would err on the side of national security interests. Although not totally related, but this did give me pause, I want to re-watch The Siege.


  2. I like this post, and thanks for sharing Barbara. I think Apple is trying to avoid setting precedence. One thing is for sure if Apple allows this, other institution will be affected since the government will now have an alibi to put it into law. That’s what we should be scared of because it will not be a good thing when that happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is complicated because the impact will be so widespread. But I do hope they work this out. I really would rather err on the side of national security. My hope is that the government does it responsibly, respectfully, and efficiently. Thanks for your feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My thoughts are that if someone is not engaged in anything messy then they shouldn’t have to worry about who hears what. Except that I won’t want to be privy to some of the raunchy stuff that goes on in people’s lives 😄


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