“If no privacy, then what is the point?”
For the conservative minds, it may sound like a bold, unbalanced and irrational statement usually uttered by the rebellious Generation Z but it is definitely a credo we firmly stand behind and are willing to defend with our time (thus, life), you may say.
The right to privacy is, without any doubt, a time-travel paradox of the law. Even though it didn’t exist as a constitutional doctrine until 1961 and didn’t form the basis of a Supreme Court ruling until 1965, it is, in some respects, the oldest constitutional right in human history.
This assertion that we have “the right to be left alone” forms the common foundation of the freedom outlined in the First Amendment. Yet, the word “privacy” itself appeared nowhere in the U.S. Constitution back then.
However, even today, when the “right to privacy” is already a common sense protected by law and social norms, people still argue about the whole concept from time to time. The most classic and idiotic argument is the good and old “I do not need privacy because I do not have anything to hide”, for which I would like to throw at it one of my favorite quote on this topic.
To show you how precious the right to privacy is, we have to demonstrate what a long and tedious battle has been fought for us to reach where we are today. The following only lists a few out of many milestones, chronologically, in the fight for privacy.
The concept of a human “right to privacy” begins when the Latin word “ius” expanded from meaning “what is fair” to include “a right — an entitlement a person possesses to control or claim something,” by the Decretum Gratiani in Bologna, Italy in the 12th Century.
In the United States, an article in the December 15, 1890 issue of the Harvard Law Review, written by attorney Samuel D. Warren and future U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis, entitled “The Right to Privacy”, is often cited as the first explicit finding of a U.S. right to privacy.
In 1928, the Supreme Court ruled that wiretaps obtained without a warrant and used as evidence in courts didn’t violate the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. In his dissent, Associate Justice Louis Brandeis delivered what is by now one of the most famous assertions that privacy is indeed an individual right.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home, or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
In 1967, The Supreme Court overruled the 1928 Olmstead v. United States decision to allow wiretapped phone conversations obtained without a warrant to be used as evidence in court.
Online privacy has been an issue since the internet was fully commercialized in the United States in 1995. Children are completely vulnerable without oversight, until 1998.
On June 6, 2013, The Guardian published a story using evidence Snowden provided that asserted the NSA had obtained secret illegal court orders requiring Verizon and other cell phone companies to collect and turn over to the government the telephone records of millions of their U.S. customers. Later, Snowden revealed information about a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program; it allowed the federal government to collect and analyze private data stored on servers operated by Internet service providers and held by companies such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook, AOL, YouTube without a warrant. Once revealed, these companies fought for and won, the requirement that the U.S. government be totally transparent in its request for data.
In 2015, Congress passed an act to end once and for all the bulk collection of millions of Americans’ phone records.
But the sad part is that the United States government (or any other governmental entity) is not the only entity collecting information from its or global citizens. The amount of personal information collected by private businesses is vast too.
One company reportedly maintains databases of credit and demographic information for over 200 million Americans, while another company reportedly has over 14 billion records on individuals and businesses for uses such as pre-employment screening of job candidates. Corporations routinely record consumer transactions, selling dossiers of personally identifiable information to direct marketers and data collectors. Consumers are often unaware of the increasingly sophisticated methods devised to collect information about them.
One of the greatest impacts on one’s expectation of privacy and, hence, one’s right to privacy, is technology. In some cases, technology has created an expectation of privacy where one did not previously exist. But in most cases, technology has eroded expectations of privacy-and, consequently, one’s right to privacy.
Someone who wants proof of how valuable user data is, needs to only look at the small number of companies that make up the technology industry’s oligopoly: Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, etc.
(For more information: https://techsecurity.news/tag/collecting-user-data/)
The common thing among them is that they all leverage our personal data to make money. They essentially dominate the tech world, push the limits of privacy, and ultimately commoditize the ideas, thoughts, and actions of individuals.
That’s why old-school cryptocurrency advocates built Bitcoin, and this is why so many others have entered the space since. To try to give the individual power over their wealth, but just as importantly, over their privacy.
Confidentiality is one of the factors that add impetus to the world of cryptocurrencies. Often to this element is given a negative meaning, as if it is only to hide illegal aspects, while in reality privacy is essential for the nearly every aspects of our life: there are no data more sensitive than our payments, they are the indicator of our personal wealth and they reveal our personal and intimate preferences. The payments tell everything about us, so it is crucial to keep them confidential.
And this is why we want to build what we are presenting you — Raze Network.
To counter that, Raze Network aims to offer a technical solution that reverses the privacy dilemma where people need to sacrifice private information to be able to use the services offered.
The underlying logic of Raze Network is to mint private tokens from base tokens on the contract at a minting value ratio of 1:1. zkSNARKs are key to maintaining anonymity, while also providing the required information for data parsing. It will have three technical abilities: Mint, Transfer and Redeem.
The important question we need to ask is why the public and private sectors constantly, wittingly, and unlawfully impinge on people’s privacy when the basic law and morality point the other way.
Only one answer is right, that your privacy is extraordinarily valuable, to the extent that they are willing to violate the law and morality to have it.
Protect it, with Raze Network.
Lee Tien, Privacy, Technology and Data Mining, 30 OHIO N.U. L. REV. 389, 390 (2004).
Stan Karas, Privacy, Identity, Databases, 52 AM. U. L. REV. 393, 394 (2002).
Paul M. Schwartz, Property, Privacy, and Personal Data, 117 HARV. L. REV. 2055, 2056 (2004); see also Brett Winterford, Logged In or Out, Facebook Is Watching You, ZDNET AUSTRALIA, Dec. 4, 2007, available at http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/security/soaLogged-in-or-out-Facebook-iswatching-you/0,130061744,339284281,00.htm
About Raze Network
Raze Network is a Substrate-based cross-chain privacy protocol for the Polkadot ecosystem. It is built as a native privacy layer that can provide end-to-end anonymity for the entire DeFi stack. The Raze Network applies zkSNARKs to the Zether framework to build a second-layer decentralized anonymous module. It will then be imported as a substrate-based smart contract. The objective of Raze Network is to enable cross-chain privacy-preserving payment and trading systems while protecting the transparency of your assets and behaviors from surveillance.