Master of Science
Department or Program
Mass Communication and Media Arts
Spahr, Robert R.
The nature of digital information and the networked world has enabled the greatest advances in communication, education, art, science, and entertainment since the invention of the printing press. However, with each new day the systems and technologies to track people and predict their behavior only expand. Corporations and governments track anyone and everyone. Privacy has never been in such grave danger. The collection, storage, and analysis of data have enabled the expansion of the pervasive surveillance state. Journalists, whistleblowers, activists, and average citizens are all under attack. A democracy cannot thrive in an environment deprived of freedom of thought, information, and expression. The surveillance state chokes the light of freedom from such an environment, and democracy will suffer. Democracy will thrive if the citizens of the world rise up and continue the struggle for freedom, which is predicated upon the protections of privacy. Privacy allows journalists to work with sources and publish information so citizens may be informed. Privacy allows whistleblowers the ability to perform a vital public service: sounding the alarm when those in power abuse power. Privacy allows activists and dissidents the ability to exercise their First Amendment rights. Privacyallows the average person to have a secure space to exist away from the harsh gaze of society and develop mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.