Every now and then, someone asks one of us at FGI why we still care about privacy. The often unspoken assumption is that we don’t have privacy anymore and we should just accept the fact and live with it. But we still believe that it is an important right for citizens to be able to examine information collected, compiled, and created by our government without worrying that the government is monitoring who is reading what and what our interests are.
Here is a good item that goes into the current state of government spying on citizens and why it is bad. I recommend it. As he says, “If a Government is permitted to collect and maintain vast dossiers on its citizens, that information is going to be abused” and “our democracy can only function if citizens know what its Government is doing.”
- The Federal Government’s domestic intelligence-gathering on U.S. citizens by Glenn Greenwald, Unclaimed Territory, December 03, 2006.
As we’ve noted repeatedly here, GPO’s privacy policies will be moot and irrelevant if we accept government surveillance. One way to circumvent such spying on citizens is to insist that GPO and government agencies deposit copies of government information with FDLP libraries, ensuring that citizens have access to government information from libraries that respect privacy and honor the “right to read” which depends or our right to privacy.