Privacy’s unnatural death
Cyber spying is the stuff of 1990s Hollywood blockbusters: meets Except, if you ask any expert, mass surveillance is no longer fiction glamourised by scriptwriters. With more information being leaked by whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden, cyber expert
“Being on the Internet makes anything inherently subject to review by third parties,” states Mike Silber, South African lawyer and internet policy activist. “Electronic data’s biggest strength is also its biggest weakness: the fact that it is incredibly easy to both copy and distribute.” However, he clarifies that the Internet has mechanisms in place to send ‘sealed couriers’ at ‘premium rates’. David Luyt, law- of-technology attorney at Michalsons Attorneys, explains that in his view, despite what many believe, privacy has not died a natural death; “It is more accurate to say that privacy is dead because we killed it and still today, it is somewhat in our control,” he says. Murray Hunter, national spokesperson of the Right2Know Campaign, agrees that the statement that ‘privacy is dead’, so often bandied about lately, is too simplistic. “Privacy is dead, but not for the reason that most people say. What they mean is that it is impossible for us to operate within this society with all of the products and services available to us while maintaining our privacy, and I don’t think that is true,” he says.