Since Marcus was questioned by the National Homeland Security after “being at the wrong place at the wrong time”, his freedom has been taken away from him. During the journey, he has fought himself all the way to the end of the story for his rights, freedom and privacy. In this specific setting, these rights, freedom and privacy are no longer what we “suppose to have”, but rather a privilege that need to be earned.
Coming from a country where websites or tools such as Google, Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter are all blocked, I witnessed people’s different attitudes and approaches to this seemingly harsh censorship. Some would, as Doctorow suggests, getting around the Great Firewall of China by using an encrypted connection to computer in some other country (p. 112); some would physically get through this firewall, which is what I ended up doing. Either way, people would take some risks or make some sacrifice for the privilege to own their privacy. On the other hand, others, probably happen to be the majority of the population, either don’t really care about this censorship or choose to do nothing with it.
That really got me thinking, why would we care about privacy anymore while a lot of people around us seem to think it’s no big deal? And again I asked the question I asked when I wrote the first paper: why would we care about data mining if we are doing nothing wrong? Doctorow offers his answer to the questions in “Little Brother”– because privacy does matter. It is not about doing something wrong or shameful, but about doing something private, about having some corner of our lives that is ours, and knowing no one else gets to see it. (p. 57)