Joe Huffman has more thoughts on privacy, from a discussion a few days ago. I would not say I’m comfortable with what’s coming, but I have to agree with Alan that whether we’re comfortable with it or not, it’s coming, and there’s not much we can do about it.
One issue I have with the idea of a transparent society is that I’m not sure information flows can ever be completely egalitarian. But I look toward the fundamental idea behind the Second Amendment, which is one way to have a check on governmental power is to make sure the distribution of military power within a society is more dispersed and less centralized. That’s the same fundamental principle working with privacy defeating technologies as well; as long as they are distributed more or less equally, the weak have the power to shine the light on the powerful as much as the powerful may shine the light on the weak. It’s not perfect, but then again, the distribution of military power in our society has never really been very egalitarian either, yet we have largely remained a free society, and have arguably become more free as the distribution has become more centralized.
When thinking of “Second Amendment remedies,” to borrow a phrase from our opponents, meaning citizens having to act as a check on abuses of governmental power, I think it’s unwise to limit ones thinking purely to military matters: to small arms, to infantry tactics, and the such. This is fighting the last war syndrome. When facing an out of control and abusive government, I’d think one of these would be as useful as hundreds of rifles, as would be one of these.