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Freedom of Speech and Segmenting the Citizens
Unformatted Document Text:  ICA-10-10582 6 example, Gary Marx suggests that a person would be less likely to express her controversial opinions in public if she suspected that one of the people around her might be an undercover police officer (1988, p.151). Yet, it is no longer necessary to have undercover police to in order to create the feeling among individuals that they are being watched. As Paul Shwartz (1999) indicates with respect to cyberspace, the fact that all our actions in cyberspace leave finely grained trails makes surveillance the rule rather than the exception (p.1651). The consequence of this fact means that, in the absence of privacy rights, we would see an increasing hesitation by citizens before they engage in democratic deliberation via the Internet (p.1651). Why does being surveilled have such chilling effect on citizens’ freedom of thought, association and speech? One possible answer is that, awareness of the possibility of being watched is often accompanied by the fear of losing one’s freedom or suffering some social and economic harm. This harm often comes in the form of a denial of certain benefits such as jobs, services, promotions, memberships (Reiman, 1995, p.35). In an environment where surveillance imposes such limits on individuals’ freedom of conscience, it would be very difficult for individuals to develop themselves autonomously. Unsurprisingly, this kind of an environment would have destructive effects on democracy because the health of a democratic regime depends on the citizens’ capacity to govern themselves (Shwartz, 1999, p.1653), and their capacity to develop a reflective and critical acceptance of social norms (Gavison, 1980, p.365). That is why the constitutional protection of privacy is needed to promote the integrity of private life, thoughts and conscience by creating an untouchable zone, in which the individual enjoys personal integrity and independent judgment (Habermas, 1998, p.368). Only then could the individuals develop their autonomy without being subject to ridicule and censure at the early stages of their development (Gavison, 1980, p.364).

Authors: Popescu, Mihaela. and Baruh, Lemi.
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ICA-10-10582
6
example, Gary Marx suggests that a person would be less likely to express her controversial
opinions in public if she suspected that one of the people around her might be an undercover
police officer (1988, p.151). Yet, it is no longer necessary to have undercover police to in
order to create the feeling among individuals that they are being watched. As Paul Shwartz
(1999) indicates with respect to cyberspace, the fact that all our actions in cyberspace leave
finely grained trails makes surveillance the rule rather than the exception (p.1651). The
consequence of this fact means that, in the absence of privacy rights, we would see an
increasing hesitation by citizens before they engage in democratic deliberation via the
Internet (p.1651).
Why does being surveilled have such chilling effect on citizens’ freedom of thought,
association and speech? One possible answer is that, awareness of the possibility of being
watched is often accompanied by the fear of losing one’s freedom or suffering some social
and economic harm. This harm often comes in the form of a denial of certain benefits such as
jobs, services, promotions, memberships (Reiman, 1995, p.35). In an environment where
surveillance imposes such limits on individuals’ freedom of conscience, it would be very
difficult for individuals to develop themselves autonomously. Unsurprisingly, this kind of an
environment would have destructive effects on democracy because the health of a democratic
regime depends on the citizens’ capacity to govern themselves (Shwartz, 1999, p.1653), and
their capacity to develop a reflective and critical acceptance of social norms (Gavison, 1980,
p.365). That is why the constitutional protection of privacy is needed to promote the integrity
of private life, thoughts and conscience by creating an untouchable zone, in which the
individual enjoys personal integrity and independent judgment (Habermas, 1998, p.368).
Only then could the individuals develop their autonomy without being subject to ridicule and
censure at the early stages of their development (Gavison, 1980, p.364).


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