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Posner: Privacy Laws Have Little Social Benefit

SURVEILLANCE—U.S.

April 30, 2013

“There is a tendency to exaggerate the social value of privacy,” writes Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and a senior lecturer with the University of Chicago Law School, for the New York Daily News. Against the backdrop of the Boston Marathon bombings, Posner discusses the balance between privacy and security, asserting that privacy laws don’t “confer social benefits comparable to those of methods of surveillance that are effective against criminal and especially terrorist assaults.” Posner says critics of surveillance ignore deterrence, and while acknowledging issues surrounding government surveillance of digital information, says surveillance technologies are “also used by our enemies. We must keep up.”
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