Privacy, Freedom and Security

Spring, 2004

Howard Schwartz

Tuesday and Thursdays, 6-10 PM

Seminar II E3107


Not Quite Complete Syllabus

(March 30, 2004)


Program Overview (from the EWS Class Listings)


Privacy is a relatively recent "right" as rights go.  It wasn’t until the Griswold case in 1963 that the Supreme Court enunciated anything like a right to privacy.  Yet such a right has surely been implicit in American ideas of individualism and freedom.   But, those ideas also are relatively recent as ideas go.  Besides, as much as Americans profess that they want to keep their lives private, they have an insatiable desire to violate the privacy of others and to reveal their own secrets for therapeutic and economic reasons. 


In this program, we will study how the tension between individual and society manifests itself.  This tension includes how information and communication technology both strengthen and weaken privacy while "confession" (e.g., Augustine and Rousseau) and memoir demonstrate a desire to reveal as well as hide.  We will also review current public policy debates about privacy and consider, from a political theory perspective, how much privacy we really need.  The current war on terrorism and the debate over the USA-Patriot Act will also lead us to consider the overall relationship between privacy, security and freedom: Does an increase in one lead to a decrease in the others? Do they complement each other?  Is there some optimum balance?


Prerequisite: Some college level work in history, social science or philosophy


Credits awarded in: history, politics, philosophy, and communications



Books (At the Evergreen Book Store):


Ellen Alderman and Caroline Kennedy, The Right to Privacy


Rosen, Jeffrey, The naked crowd: reclaiming security and freedom in an anxious age


David Brin, The Transparent Society


Molly Peacock, ed., The Private I


Patricia Boling, Privacy and the Politics of Intimate Life


Amitai Etzioni, The Limits of Privacy





Additional Readings:


Details on HIPAA

Headlines on computer privacy issues


USA Patriot Act links:


Dalia Lathwick, A Guide to the Patriot Act:


Ethan Bronner, Collateral Damage:


Augustine, The Confessions (Selections)

Rousseau, The Confessions (Selections)


Warren and Brandeis, “The Right to Privacy,” Harvard Law Review


Roe v. Wade; Griswold v. Connecticut

Go to: and enter case parties


Excerpts from Jeff Weintraub, et al, Public and Private in Thought and Practice


plus assorted handouts and other internet references


Requirements and Assignments:

(Under Development: See separate handout)

Will likely include a team/individual research project on one of the following:

Findings will be presented in a paper and a presentation at the end of the quarter.


There will also be bi-weekly annotations on the readings.


Tentative Schedule of Classes and Readings






March 30/April 1

Security and Freedom

Introduction and Overview

Readings:  Private I, pp. 3-22; Rosen, pp. 3-61; Right to Privacy, pp. xiii-49.



April 6/8

Security and Freedom

Readings: Rosen, pp. 62-129;  Etzioni, pp. 103-137; ”Private I, pp. 130-144.


Readings:  Rosen, pp. 130-225;

Form Project Groups


April 13/15

Public Policy Issues

Readings: Etzioni, pp. 1-74.

USA Patriot Act Readings

Guest Speaker

Due: Annotation 1;

Project Proposal

Readings: Etzioni,  pp, 75-102; 138-182; Private I, pp. 192-212;



April 20/22

Law and Policy



Etzioni, pp. 183-215; Private I, pp. 103-116,145-154


Readings: Right to Privacy, pp. 55-147;  Cases: Griswold; Roe v. Wade; Casey, etc., on the web



April 27/29

Policy and Philosophy

Readings: Right to Privacy, pp. 151-222; Private I, pp. 186-202. Warren and Brandeis, “The Right to Privacy” (On the Web);

Guest Speaker

Project Groups meet

Due: Annotation 2

Readings: Right to Privacy, pp. 225-332 ; Private I, pp. 117-127.



Due: Project Progress Report 1

May 4/6

Philosophy and Politics

Readings:   Excerpts from Jeff Weintraub, et al, Public and Private in Thought and Practice (Handout); Boling, pp. 3-81.

Due: Annotation 3

Readings: Boling, pp. 85-160



May 11/13

Confessions and Memoirs

Readings:  Augustine, Confessions; Rousseau, Confessions (On the Web); The Private I, pp. 28-94.

Due: Annotation 4;                            Guest Speaker

Project Progress Report II;                 Seminar

Project Groups meet


May 18/20


Readings: Brin, Part 1.

Due: Annotation 5



Readings: Brin, Part 2


Guest Speaker

May 25/27


Readings: Brin, Part 3; Lester, “The Reinvention of Privacy;(Handout)


Presentation Preparation



June 1/3

Student Presentations

Due: Annotation 6

Student Presentations

June 7-11

Evaluation conferences




Faculty Contact information:

Evergreen Office: Until approximately April 20: Library 33214; afterwards, Seminar II B-2121

Telephone: 360-867-6723