Year in Privacy: Citizens Lose

Monday, 30 December 2002, 10:17 PM EST

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Ben Franklin wrote those words over 200 years ago, and, as we reach the end of 2002, the state of important liberties around the world appears to be degenerating rapidly, particularly in the area of privacy concerns.

The United States now imprisons its own citizens incommunicado, indefinitely and without lawyers or trials, for the duration of what we're told is an essentially permanent state of war.

In the good old days of the iron curtain, we condemned other countries for such actions, calling them human rights violations. Now some of those same nations are our partners of convenience in the war on terror, and our own government has enthusiastically embraced our former adversaries' old tactics.

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