Recently the news has been lit up by news of NSA whistle blowers and debates about privacy and anonymity often relating to Snowden, julian assange, or Anonymous. Sometimes meaningful debates are spun out of their actions, other times these whistle blowers just stirred up a nest of bees, sometimes their information was flawed without any basis, and other times they had no effect. But, no doubt you have had a conversation with your neighbor at one point or another about privacy as a right in the USA. You or your audience probably finished the conversation by saying, "I am not worried I do not have anything to hide." But is that in kin to if somebody says your freedom of speech will be taken away and somebody says ,"I am not worried because I have nothing to say."
Let's celebrate the fourth of July by taking a look at the fourth amendment and take a pleasant stroll into the past and look at Benjamin Franklin's Silence Dogood Letters-
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
""HE “Couranteers” or “Hell-Fire Club,” as the contributors to James Franklin’s The New-England Courant came to be known, started something new in America--a lively journal without ties to the Massachusetts colonial government that published attacks on Boston’s political and religious establishment. In this heady atmosphere, sixteen-year-old Ben Franklin was inspired to make his own first efforts as a journalist. As he recollected in his Autobiography:
He (Franklin’s brother, James) had some ingenious Men among his Friends who amuse’d themselves by writing little Pieces for this Paper, which gain’d it Credit, and made it more in Demand; and these Gentlemen often visited us. Hearing their Conversations, and their Accounts of the Approbation their Papers were receiv’d with, I was excited to try my Hand among them. But being still a Boy, and suspect that my Brother would object to printing any Thing of mine in his Paper, if he knew it to be mine, I contriv’d to disguise my Hand, and writing an anonymous Paper I put it in the Night under the Door of the Printing House.The submission Benjamin Franklin wrote and slipped under the door to the newspaper was a letter supposedly written by a minister's widow named Silence Dogood. The favorable reception of the first letter prompted Franklin to write a second. In all, fourteen essays by Silence Dogood appeared in the Courant.
James Franklin and his friends knew that "Silence Dogood" was a pen name and not a "real" woman. They concluded that the writer using the pseudonym was a clever and well-read man of town; they had no idea that the real author was James's younger brother. Eventually Benjamin admitted that he was the author of the Silence Dogood essays and got some favorable attention from the "Couranteers" but perhaps alienated his older brother, James. Benjamin Franklin, in his Autobiography, recalled that James cautioned against being too vain because of the reception the Dogood essays received. This vanity (real or perceived) might have contributed to the rift that was developing between the younger brother/apprentice and the older brother/master printer.""
"This is the first appearance of Benjamin Franklin in print, writing under the pseudonym of Silence Dogood, the outspoken widow of a minister. In this essay published in the 26 March-2 April 1722 issue of The New-England Courant, the reader learns about Silence Dogood's birth on board a ship sailing to Boston and the dramatic death of her father (swept overboard as he was standing on deck celebrating his newborn daughter), the necessity of her apprenticeship to a minister (because of the impoverished situation her mother found herself in), and her education and exposure to books during her work for the minister. At the end of the letter Dogood promises to write to the paper again:"
It may not be improper in the first place to inform your Readers, that I intend once a Fortnight to present them, by the Help of this Paper, with a short Epistle, which I presume will add somewhat to their Entertainment.
And since it is observed, that the Generality of People, now a days, are unwilling either to commend or dispraise what they read, until they are in some measure informed who or what the Author of it is, whether he be poor or rich, old or young, a Schollar or a Leather Apron Man, &c. and give their Opinion of the Performance, according to the Knowledge which they have of the Author’s Circumstances, it may not be amiss to begin with a short Account of my past Life and present Condition, that the Reader may not be at a Loss to judge whether or no my Lucubrations are worth his reading.
At the time of my Birth, my Parents were on Ship-board in their Way from London to N. England. My Entrance into this troublesome World was attended with the Death of my Father, a Misfortune, which tho’ I was not then capable of knowing, I shall never be able to forget; for as he, poor Man, stood upon the Deck rejoycing at my Birth, a merciless Wave entred the Ship, and in one Moment carry’d him beyond Reprieve. Thus, was the first Day which I saw, the last that was seen by my Father; and thus was my disconsolate Mother at once made both a Parent and a Widow.
When we arrived at Boston (which was not long after) I was put to Nurse in a Country Place, at a small Distance from the Town, where I went to School, and past my Infancy and Childhood in Vanity and Idleness, until I was bound out Apprentice, that I might no longer be a Charge to my Indigent Mother, who was put to hard Shifts for a Living.
My Master was a Country Minister, a pious good-natur’d young Man, and a Batchelor: He labour’d with all his Might to instil vertuous and godly Principles into my tender Soul, well knowing that it was the most suitable Time to make deep and lasting Impressions on the Mind, while it was yet untainted with Vice, free and unbiass’d. He endeavour’d that I might be instructed in all that Knowledge and Learning which is necessary for our Sex, and deny’d me no Accomplishment that could possibly be attained in a Country Place; such as all Sorts of Needle-Work, Writing, Arithmetick, &c. and observing that I took a more than ordinary Delight in reading ingenious Books, he gave me the free Use of his Library, which tho’ it was but small, yet it was well chose, to inform the Understanding rightly, and enable the Mind to frame great and noble Ideas.
Before I had liv’d quite two Years with this Reverend Gentleman, my indulgent Mother departed this Life, leaving me as it were by my self, having no Relation on Earth within my Knowledge.
I will not abuse your Patience with a tedious Recital of all the frivolous Accidents of my Life, that happened from this Time until I arrived to Years of Discretion, only inform you that I liv’d a chearful Country Life, spending my leisure Time either in some innocent Diversion with the neighbouring Females, or in some shady Retirement, with the best of Company, Books. Thus I past away the Time with a Mixture of Profit and Pleasure, having no affliction but what was imaginary, and created in my own Fancy; as nothing is more common with us Women, than to be grieving for nothing, when we have nothing else to grieve for.
As I would not engross too much of your Paper at once, I will defer the Remainder of my Story until my next Letter; in the mean time desiring your Readers to exercise their Patience, and bear with my Humours now and then, because I shall trouble them but seldom. I am not insensible of the Impossibility of pleasing all, but I would not willingly displease any; and for those who will take Offence where none is intended, they are beneath the Notice of Your Humble Servant,""