Why does privacy matter? The most common thing people say when asked about privacy is,
"I don't have anything to hide."
The way I see it is: activists are the immune system of society. If activists' efforts to make the world a better (or at least less bad) place are undermined, everybody suffers, beginning with the most vulnerable, then spreading like a cancer throughout our civilization.
Mass surveillance is infecting the world with an auto-immune disorder.
Mass surveillance is giving the world something akin to social HIV.
In other words: mass surveillance is HIV.
At this point you may be thinking, "this can't happen in a democracy like the United States." But it already has -- twice.
[Very current example: Breitbart calling BLM a "terrorist organization"]
You know who really bothers me? The social freeloaders who do nothing to make the world better, enjoy all the benefits (e.g., greater equality for women and racial minorities), but who can't manage to make the connection between activism, social progress, and mass surveillance. As a result, they are therefore are not even in favor of their own civil liberties.
Much of the government's stance is:
Julian Assange states: "There is no killer answer yet. Jacob Appelbaum (@ioerror) has a clever response, asking people who say this to then hand him their phone unlocked and pull down their pants. My version of that is to say, 'well, if you're so boring then we shouldn't be talking to you, and neither should anyone else', but philosophically, the real answer is this: Mass surveillance is a mass structural change. When society goes bad, it's going to take you with it, even if you are the blandest person on earth."
[Original blog post from November 3, 2015:]
"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." --Edward Snowden
There are very good reasons to care about your privacy, but if for some reason you don't, don't take away (or vote to take away) everyone else's rights!