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Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively.


  • My name's Leonard Washington. Where I'm from? A little town called None Of Your Goddamn Business.
  • The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.
    • William O. Douglas, dissenting, Public utilities Commission v. Pollak, 343 U.S. 451, 467 (1952)
  • We are rapidly entering the age of no privacy, where everyone is open to surveillance at all times; where there are no secrets from government.
  • The saint and poet seek privacy to ends the most public and universal: and it is the secret of culture, to interest the man more in his public, than in his private quality.
  • There is a sacred realm of privacy for every man and woman where he makes his choices and decisions—a realm of his own essential rights and liberties into which the law, generally speaking, must not intrude.
    • Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury, Look magazine (March 17, 1959)
  • Every man should know that his conversations, his correspondence, and his personal life are private. I have urged Congress—except when the Nation's security is at stake—to take action to that end.
    • Lyndon B. Johnson, remarks at the swearing-in of Ramsey Clark as attorney general (March 10, 19670; in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967, book 1, p. 313.
  • Who could deny that privacy is a jewel? It has always been the mark of privilege, the distinguishing feature of a truly urbane culture. Out of the cave, the tribal tepee, the pueblo, the community fortress, man emerged to build himself a house of his own with a shelter in it for himself and his diversions. Every age has seen it so. The poor might have to huddle together in cities for need’s sake, and the frontiersman cling to his neighbors for the sake of protection. But in each civilization, as it advanced, those who could afford it chose the luxury of a withdrawing-place.
  • Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
  • He loved her so passionately he wanted her to be one soul and one body with him; and he was conscious that here, with those deep roots attaching her to the native life, she would always keep something from him.
  • I was attacked via nearly every facet of my online life by a loosely coordinated cyber mob. All of my social networks were flooded with a torrent of misogynist and racist slurs as well as threats of rape, violence and death. The wikipedia article about me was vandalized with similar sentiments. When I publicly shared what was happening to me, the perpetrators responded by escalating their harassment campaign and attempting to DDoS my website and hack into my online accounts. They also tried to collect and distribute my personal info including my home address and phone number. They made pornographic images in my likeness being raped by video games characters which they distributed and sent to me over and over again. Attempts were made to discredit me and my project by creating and posting false quotes or fake tweets attributed to me. There was also a flash game developed where players were invited to “beat the bitch up”. Unfortunately I still receive threats and explicit images on a semi-regular basis. In December 2012, I gave a TEDxWomen talk where I discuss in more detail what happened, and how these large scale loosely organized Cyber Mob attacks operate.
  • Gentlemen do not read each other's mail.
    • Henry L. Stimson, reported in Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War (1948), p. 188; David Kahn, The Codebreakers (1967), p. 360. This was Stimson's justification for closing the Department of State's code-breaking office, the so-called Black Chamber, in 1929.
  • For what reason have I this vast range and circuit, some square miles of unfrequented forest, for my privacy, abandoned to me by men? My nearest neighbor is a mile distant, and no house is visible from any place but the hill-tops within half a mile of my own. I have my horizon bounded by woods all to myself; a distant view of the railroad where it touches the pond on the one hand, and of the fence which skirts the woodland road on the other. But for the most part it is as solitary where I live as on the prairies. It is as much Asia or Africa as New England. I have, as it were, my own sun and moon and stars, and a little world all to myself.

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