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FOREWORD

FOREWORD

One of the most important and misunderstood issues about the need for privacy is that the real harm of lost privacy comes in lost freedom. The truth is that a few extra pieces of junk mail may be bothersome, but it's not enough to spend a lot of effort to stop it.

The real danger comes because when we feel we are under surveillance by the government, by strangers, by our neighbours, or by faceless databases we feel less free. We censor our activities and utterances, with a fear that somehow they might come back to haunt us. Even though they may never do so.

The fringes of society need their privacy so that their own explorations, so vital to society, are not crushed by the disapproval of the small-minded. If we are watched, we don't feel free, and as such we aren't free.

Brad Templeton
Electronic Frontier Foundation
June 2001

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