Some days it’s hard to have an opinion

I’m sitting here trying to muster up an opinion about the trade off between rights and protection. To what extent can a governments infringe on the rights of its citizens to protect them from potential harm? I’m coming up short. Indifference like this is why our individual rights are slowly eroded from beneath our feet.

Apple caters to the majority market share with their iPod, and in return the consumers accept the DRM pushed on them. For the most part, nobody balks when told that they are allowed to use the song they purchased from the iTunes Music Store on one and only one computer, and on one and only one iPod1. Nobody bats an eye when they are told that the DVD that they purchased was actually a license for only that medium, and that they will have to buy another copy if they wish to transfer it to their iPod.

The PATRIOT Act is passed in the wake of 9/11, and the general populace accepts it as necessary. People expect to lose some privacy in the name of protection. The mindless masses are all too ignorant of the direction their government is taking them. Data mining and profiling without warrants or probable cause goes mostly unnoticed. Wiretaps are extended to digital mediums and the criteria needed to justify one is relaxed, and the populace is unfazed.

I’m not saying that these things are bad. I’m not opposed to the idea of the PATRIOT Act or Digital Rights Management. But I am opposed to complacence. Loss of individual rights should not go unchallenged or unnoticed. And I am as guilty as anyone. Take part in your government. Have opinions. Study the issues. I’m going to try harder too.

  1. I know this is not the case any more. but it was for a long time… and the average user didn’t even balk