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Technology & Innovation

Once a Destroyer of Privacy, DARPA Wants to Make It Invincible

Seeking to right past wrongs and bring privacy back into the hands of the people.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is perusing technology to make online privacy possible for the individual through a program dubbed The Brandeis project.

It’s named after Supreme Court Associate Justice Louis Brandeis, who penned the paper The Right to Privacy back in 1890. In his piece, which he co-authored with Samuel D. Warren, the two conceptualized the idea that harm could be done to an individual in other ways beyond the physical. To give some context, the paper was published two years after the Kodak camera came out — a technology that could suddenly make a moment on a public street available to everyone (if made available to the press). I can only imagine how he might react to the Internet and photo sharing.

Dr. John Launchbury, the DARPA program director for Brandeis, said in a press release: “Democracy and innovation depend on creativity and the open exchange of diverse ideas, but fear of a loss of privacy can stifle those processes.”

Brad Templeton argues that we’re all a part of a surveillance apparatus that would even be beyond the imagination George Orwell.


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