Good news, everyone. The terrorists will win and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to help. Of course, his speech is all about not letting the terrorists win. But he’s giving them exactly what they want.
Bloomberg is an incredibly worrying political figure. He’s gone from earlier this year stating the privacy is important, but cannot be maintained in the face of expanding police surveillance, to this:
“The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a press conference in Midtown. “But we live in a complex word where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.”
This is the second time in very recent memory that he, on the one hand, supports a notion of privacy while, on the other, asserts that privacy has to be increasingly limited to enjoy ‘security’. This is an absolutely false dichotomy, and is often linked to blasé efforts to ‘secure’ a population in ineffective, inefficient, or incorrect ways. Strong security protections can and should be accompanied by equally strong privacy protections; we need to escape the dichotomy and recognize that privacy and security tend to be mutually supportive of one another, at least when security solutions are appropriately designed and implemented.