Privacy and Garbage

I recently ran across some stories which I found quite interesting. They concern your right to privacy vs the desire of the police to protect us. The stories make for both entertaining and thought provoking reads.

The first story I ran across was on boingboing, which led me to a story from Portland that is three years old, but very interesting. It is entitled...

Portland's top brass said it was OK to swipe your garbage--so we grabbed theirs.


My own reaction is one of concern. I’m concerned about privacy and I’m concerned about terrorism and justice for criminals. This underscores for me, the need to elect moral officials that will demand moral excellence from their subordinates. However that desire may fall short of actually preventing abuses to the system, consequently I believe that we do need to reform the Patriot Act, and other laws that infringe on our privacy, but not to the point of leading ourselves wide open to terrorism. There is a very very fine balance to be struck on this matter, and it certainly isn’t easy.

In regards to the story, If I was the police chief, I would have authorized the dumpster diving, and on the other hand, if I was the reporter, I would have definitely taken the garbage…and reported it for all the world to know about.

1 comment:

Tyler Watson said...

Returning the favor and giving you a comment on your blog.

It seems we have entered a new period for the US in its self-defense. When the enemy isn't a nation-state, certainly more direct and traditional forms of conflict and policing are inadequate. I wonder how other nations that have lived with the threat of terrorism have handled policing and protecting privacy.