SIR ZELMAN COWEN ON “THE RIGHT TO BE LET ALONE”

Sir Zelman Cowen was regarded as one of Australia’s foremost experts on constitutional law.
He was also Australia’s Governor General from 1977 to 1982 and the long-time mentor of our Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, who was groomed for the Prime Ministership from a young age.
In 1969, Sir Zelman delivered a series of lectures in which he argued for the right of all individuals to be “let alone”.
“Unlike democratic society, totalitarian organisation claim secrecy for the regime, and full surveillance over the lives of groups and individuals.”
“I reject this utterly.”
“A man without privacy, is a man without dignity.”
A free society “…protects an individual’s solitude, his intimacy in various groups of his own choosing, his anonymity, his ability to be lost, without identification, in a crowd, his reserve, his shutting himself off from unwanted intrusion”.
“TO ME, THE CLAIM TO PRIVACY IS CLEAR BEYOND DOUBT; I SEE IT AS ONE OF THE TRULY PROFOUND VALUES OF A FREE SOCIETY.”
In his final lecture, Cowen warned that:
“The invaders of privacy are a massing army: they come from government and officialdom, from commerce and industry and from the mass media…”
“Intrusions into privacy have become so intertwined with the pursuit of ‘objectives’ that it is increasingly viewed as essential in our society…ESPECIALLY EFFICIENCY, and each intrusion has been accepted as reasonable, or useful”.
LET ME SAY THIS AGAIN….!
“Intrusions into privacy have become so intertwined with the pursuit of ‘objectives’ that it is increasingly viewed as essential in our society…ESPECIALLY EFFICIENCY, and each intrusion has been accepted as reasonable, or useful”.
“The fear that Big Brother is watching and listening threatens the freedom of the individual no less than prison bars do”.
“The development of wiretapping procedures, of devices for eavesdropping and bugging, the growth of information gathering systems which allow vast masses of information to be collected in centralised and easily accessible locations is intolerable”.
“The computer with its insatiable appetite for information, its image of infallibility, its inability to forget anything that has been put into it, may become the heart of a surveillance system that will turn society into a transparent world in which our homes, our finances, our associations, our mental and physical conditions are laid bare”.
“A developing horror is telemetry, which has led to the creation of “radio pills” that, if swallowed unknowingly, turn the victim into a human transmitter and he can be tracked wherever he goes”.
“Bureaucratic zeal and THE PURSUIT OF EFFICIENCY” Cowen said, “have blinded men, to the need to preserve the basic dignities and freedoms of their fellows”.
“TO MAINTAIN THE ROLE OF A FREE MAN IN A FREE SOCIETY, WE MUST INSIST ON THE RIGHT TO BE LET ALONE”.
(The great man must be turning in his grave to see his own protégé actively pushing a centralised National Digital Identity and programmable Digital Currency which will end Australians’ claim to privacy and the ‘right to be left alone’ permanently).
1 reply
  1. Phillip Chippendale
    Phillip Chippendale says:

    G’day Stephen & team. Love this & love your work.
    Keep up the great fight for all our freedoms.
    Good health,
    Best regards,
    Phil Chippendale

    Reply

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