In Roman times, 'privacy' had more to do with one’s “private” domain where one is the master of one’s own house rather than the sense we have today where the emphasis is more on one’s private thoughts, particularly digital privacy.

Recently around the world, governments have been tightening down on individual privacy and have attempted to gather private information about their citizens with some particular agenda. Do you agree with these attempts? I believe there is an unequal power distribution when it comes to surveillance of the State on its citizens. It can also be argued that the personal interests citizens protect are economically inefficient and a decrease in privacy of users results in increased socio-economic development. However, with reference to recent events*, can it come at the cost of dignity and personal information?

*Example - The Indian government puts all computers under surveillance : https://www.medianama.com/2018/12/223-all-computers-india-surveillance/

  • Hello and welcome to the site. Please make sure you've read the tour. Unfortunately it looks like your question is really looking for opinions here ("Do you agree with these attempts?") which is not something this site is designed for. Commented Dec 26, 2018 at 23:05
  • The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, which protects Americans from "unreasonable search and seizure," has been shredded. If cops suspect you have drugs up your butt they'll take you to the hospital, get a court order. and forcibly ... well you get the idea. Then they send you the bill for the procedure. I did not make this up. theroot.com/… So that's your privacy in America in 2018. It's frightening that the public stands for it.
    – user4894
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 3:08
  • Do you agree with X is not a question suitable for SE format since it calls for personal opinions. It would better fit a forum discussion, try e.g. Philosophy Forum. Even if you rephrase it into something more objectively answerable Politics SE might be a better fit.
    – Conifold
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 23:03
  • "In the future everyone will wish they could be anonymous for 15m" - graffiti
    – CriglCragl
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


In "The Gulag Archipelago", Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn writes:

Fear was not always the fear of arrest. There were intermediate threats: purges, inspections, the completion of security questionnaires---routine or extraordinary ones---dismissal from work, deprivation of residence permit, expulsion or exile. The security questionnaires were so detailed and so inquisitive that more than half of the inhabitants of the country had a bad conscience and were constantly and permanently tormented by the approach of the period when they had to be filled out.


Peace of mind is something our citizens have never known.


Whether giving in to fear, or influenced by material self-interest or envy, people can't nonetheless become stupid so swiftly. Their souls may be thoroughly muddied, but they still have a sufficiently clear mind. They cannot believe that all the genius of the world has suddenly concentrated itself in one head with a flattened, low-hanging forehead. They simply cannot believe the stupid and silly images of themselves which they hear over the radio, see in films, and read in the newspapers. Nothing forces them to speak the truth in reply, but no one allows them to keep silent! They have to talk! And what else but a lie? They have to applaud madly, and no one requires honesty of them.

The permanent lie becomes the only safe form of existence, in the same way as betrayal. Every wag of the tongue can be overheard by someone, every facial expression observed by someone. Therefore every word, if it does not have to be a direct lie, is nonetheless obliged not to contradict the general, common lie. There exists a collection of ready-made phrases, of labels, a selection of ready-made lies. And not one single speech nor one single essay or article nor one single book---be it scientific, journalistic, critical, or "literary," so-called---can exist without the use of these primary cliches. In the most scientific of texts it is required that someone's false authority or false priority be upheld somewhere, and that someone be cursed for telling the truth; without this lie even an academic work cannot see the light of day.

From The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Book IV, Chapter 3, "Our Muzzled Freedom"


Recently around the world, governments have been tightening down on individual privacy and have attempted to gather private information about their citizens with some particular agenda. Do you agree with these attempts?

It's not just governments but also large corporations too, like Google and Facebook. There was also the recent scare with Cambridge Analytica. It will undoubtably become a more serious issue in the future.