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Protecting the Common Good: Technology, Objectivity, and Privacy


Lisa Nelson


The rhetoric of public policy after September 11 encourages us to believe that the preservation of freedom and the safety of the common good requires our universal acquiescence to technological invasions of privacy. The purpose of this article is simply to warn that the rhetoric of public policy solutions post–September 11 may be inconsistent with the philosophical and legal framework of American democracy. While serving as a solution today, this rhetoric may pose a devastating blow to the balance of individual privacy and common good that is essential to the preservation of freedom.