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30 May, 2005

A symbol of individual rights

The alert may have noticed an amendment to the main page of the blog: there's a new button on the right of the page.

One of the most fundamental aspects of my world view is that the purpose of the state is to facilitate the lives of individual citizens, but never vice versa. Citizens do not exist to serve the state, and our rights should not be constrained for the convenience of the state. I'm sure it would be useful for government agencies (and private companies) to know who I am, where I live, who I know, where I go, how I travel, what I buy, etc. but that doesn't mean they should. So, no identity cards, no sharing of data between government departments, no national fingerprint or DNA database.

Individual-I: privacy is a right, not a privilegeThis philosophy is now expressed by the 'Individual-I', a public-domain icon which stands for:

  • Freedom from surveillance
  • Personal privacy
  • Anonymity
  • Equal protection
  • Due process
  • Freedom to read, write, think, speak, associate, and travel
  • The right to make one's own choices about sex, reproduction, marriage, and death
  • The right to dissent
Today, the rights of individuals are being eroded: by government, by corporations, by society itself. This icon – the Individual-i – represents the rights of the individual.
It represents the right to privacy and anonymity in the information age. It represents the rights to an open government, due process, and equal protection under the law. It represents the right to live surveillance free, and not to be marked as 'suspicious' for wanting these other rights.
It recognizes that a free society is a safe society, and that freedom is founded upon individual rights.

We hope to see this symbol displayed proudly wherever individual rights are valued.

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