Should The Ethereum Classic Community Be Ashamed Of Promoting Privacy?

6/17/2017 Christian Seberino

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Privacy is the power to control the communication of personal information. Recent news may discourage some people involved with Ethereum Classic (ETC) from protecting privacy. Here are the basics of privacy including why it is indispensable:

Universal & Traditional

Supreme Court

The Constitution does not explicitly mention a right to privacy. However, according to the Supreme Court, it contains an implicit right to privacy. Justice William O. Douglas, in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), wrote that privacy is “within the penumbra of specific guarantees of the Bill of Rights”. Furthermore, 150 countries have constitutions granting explicit privacy rights. The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights also explicitly mentions a right to privacy:

“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

A right to privacy is not a new and radical idea. Rather, it is a universal and traditional one. The Ethereum Classic community is just promoting the principles of the United States, 150 other countries, and, the United Nations!

Beneficial & Necessary

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Privacy is beneficial partly because everyone wants to hide something that is appropriate to be kept secret! For example, some may: be working through embarrassing medical or psychological issues, be on their honeymoon, be awkwardly exploring new artistic endeavors, or, just be going to the bathroom. The actions of people that say privacy is not important reveal their true sentiments. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook purchased the houses surrounding his California home to ensure a haven of privacy. Eric Schmidt of Google punished CNET for publishing some of his personal details. Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who assisted Edward Snowden, challenges anyone that thinks privacy is not important make all their emails public. Nobody has yet met his challenge!

Privacy is also beneficial because no government is completely free from corruption. Global surveillance, confiscation of funds and censorship are just a few examples of documented governmental abuse. Imagine if you had never heard of Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Julian Assange because dissent was not possible.

Some believe privacy must be sacrificed for security. However, it is possible to have security and privacy. They are not mutually exclusive. An apartment complex could implement an identification card system thereby providing security at the expense of privacy. Alternatively, door locks and alarm systems could provide the same or better security while maintaining privacy!

Conclusion

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A right to privacy is an old, traditional, beneficial and necessary idea. The Ethereum Classic community is doing a public service in promoting it.

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank IOHK (Input Output Hong Kong) for funding this effort.

License

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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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