Privacy battles: As old as the Old Testament
July 14, 2014 AroundtheWeb

Last month marked the beginning of a new campaign for Internet privacy with the unveiling of the “Reset the Net” campaign. Academics, tech companies, and civil rights organizations from around the globe, including Google, Mozilla, WordPress, Tumblr, and the Committee to Protect Journalists, are urging individuals to act now to reclaim their technology privacy. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden released a statement to correspond with the beginning of the campaign.Modern privacy concerns, of course, predate Snowden by more than a century and we find evidence of similar concerns even millennia earlier in the Old Testament.

Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis are credited with creating “The Right to Privacy” in their 1890 Harvard Law Review essay. Interestingly, their privacy concerns at the time centered on celebrity gossip journalism and the new media of their day, photography. Warren and Brandeis’ article, perhaps the most influential law review article of both the 20th and 21st centuries, famously defined privacy as “the right to be le[f]t alone.”

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