Column: Don’t care about surveillance? You’re probably white and middle class

Glenn Greenwald Discusses His New Book On Edward Snowden And The NSAOttawa Citizen – It’s no surprise that minorities are fearful of authority when they are the most targeted and least able to protect themselves. A study from The Pew Internet and American Life Project found that African-Americans and Hispanics with Internet access were more concerned about online privacy than white people.

While privileged populations often laud surveillance measures as a way to fight terrorism, minorities are burdened by the results. Ask the Middle Eastern man with a beard who gets treated like Maher Arar at the border about his thoughts on privacy. And government infringement is only getting worse. The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) issued a report that describes how the more than 17 border control programs now in place are disproportionately aimed at certain ethnic groups.

From a social justice perspective, we should care that fellow Canadians are being targeted. But there’s also a more selfish reason. As government spying becomes more sinister, privilege is not a get-out-of-surveillance-free card. The “I-have-nothing-to-fear” defence should be qualified with “until I don’t.” Government has a nasty habit of extending its reach over time. That’s a reality none of us should hide from. Read more