Few values in life are to be prized on the same level as the right to privacy, and none are above it. Given this, it is hard to fathom why the Framers made no mention of privacy in the Bill of Rights, leaving it to our Supreme Court to find the right in something called "the penumbra." The term penumbra is derived from the Latin word for shadow, and this seems to imply that privacy is a fringe value of lesser importance than the other rights of US citizens that are explicitly enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, it is difficult to conceive of how freedom itself could exist in the absence of privacy.
Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
Jean Paul Sartre
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