We need a privacy revolution. The movement must be built as an alliance uniting people concerned about liberty from the right, the left and the center. In an era of economic austerity and depression, the only thing that will force these vital issues to the forefront is a whole lot of (organized) noise.
The government isn't waiting for our approval, either tacit or overt. The ACLU has maybe hundreds of lawyers on deck to challenge these abuses. The FBI, just to take one example from a sprawling surveillance state matrix, has 40,000 agents. The cards aren't stacked evenly. In order to make a real impact, people need to raise their voices. Civil liberties organizations cannot do it alone.
Michelle Alexander is often asked how we can push back against the drug war and its mass incarceration disaster. She says nothing less than a mass movement will get us what we need. Her lesson applies equally to the growing surveillance state. Yes, we need to pass the GPS Act. Yes, we need to update electronic communications privacy law.
But to get there and to change the fundamental relations of power between the government and the governed we need a mass social movement for privacy.