Law enforcement officers now know if they use force during an arrest, it’s very likely someone will have a camera or cell phone to film the incident.
If you start a revolution, you will no longer rage in solitude. The world will be watching, communicating, and holding its breath.
If you film yourself making love, it’s no longer a private encounter. The internet is hungry. It will stalk your tape and devour it. You must now factor an audience into your sex life.
We are now at the end of privacy and the beginning of publicicity.
Imagine the internet as an infinite, infinitely hungry, black hole. Its exponential growth is only abated by its exponential ability to consume everything it bumps against. Photos, information, books, ideas, films, thoughts, art, and so on.
You are likely on camera most of the day. We know this. At work, on the sidewalks, and in stores. Our lack of privacy doesn’t really anger us anymore.
We get it.
That is, until Wikileaks came along. This is the website that vows not to rest until every scrap and morsel of mundane or momentous correspondence is published.
The anger won’t last. It never does. It’s hard to stay angry at inevitability.
For instance, Wikileaks posts top secret government documents regarding torture, classified information, and whistleblowers. Many people find this necessary in a free and open society.
Other people even understand there are no more private moments, few private sex acts, and no more private revolutions.
We can live with that too.
The reason people are upset with Wikileaks is because this website personifies the fear that there is no more private correspondence either. In the past, when you put someone’s name on a letter, no one else in the world would see what the envelope contained. This is not so anymore.
From henceforth, pretend all your cyber-transmissions are going directly to the inbox of the Director of the FBI, your girlfriend’s mother, and your minister.
And maybe, just maybe, they are.