Individual claims of privacy vs. competing claims of social welfare

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What do ya'll think, should individual claims of privacy be valued above or below competing claims of social welfare? I personally can't really take a strong stance either way. Of course with terrorism the threat that it is, the govt. needs to do lots of work to catch terrorists and find out about their plans beforehand to stop them, and will inevitably need to do things that will violate people's privacy in order to stop terrorists. However, giving the government too much ability to tamper in personal affairs can be very dangerous as well, "It's for your own good we know everything you're doing" is a very Fascist position, and I'm not too big on that kinda stuff. Anyone have a particularly unique perspective on this/know any good philosophers who wrote about the matter?
 

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BobG
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I guess it depends on what the question is:

Is your goal to protect human life?

Or is your goal to protect a way of life?
 
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BobG said:
I guess it depends on what the question is:

Is your goal to protect human life?

Or is your goal to protect a way of life?
It's an open ended question, just pour out any arguments for either side you can think of.
 

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