Finding a balance between privacy protection and security

Privacy advocates never cease invoking Armageddon, every time anybody tries to fight terrorism by improving surveillance and intelligence.

There is also a fundamental right that is often overlooked by our self-appointed privacy advocates: the right to live, for our families and ourselves. I have never designated or voted for a privacy advocate who is opposing this or vetoing that, negotiating in my name my life and future – has anybody? I am very attached to my privacy, but I don’t give a damn if there are cameras on the streets or if I am required to have proper ID, instead of a utility bill.

I am, however, incensed when judges release terrorists and potential terrorists (who make no secret of their intentions) on mere technicalities or block their extraditions and expulsions, because they could get in trouble in their home countries.

Perhaps we can find a way of getting our act together somehow, without shrieks of “1984”, while preserving our freedom and democracy.

Terrorism and our limp approach to its control are the best possible gifts for every extreme right wing politician out there, in Europe and around the world. So, unless we do manage to find a balance between our rights to privacy and fairness and protection from determined terrorists, we will play into the hands of extreme right wingers, who will take away much more than our freedom from eavesdropping, riding the wave of anger caused by terrorists and our limp, ineffectual defence of democracy.

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