Dahlia Lithwick has a commentary on Slate that expresses the same points I’ve made on this blog in the past. I couldn’t agree with her more:
Once upon a time, you had to be a person to assert a right to personal privacy. But more and more it seems that the demand for personal privacy flows to large blurry advocacy groups and even larger, blurrier corporations. This trend would be alarming under any circumstances. As it happens, individual privacy rights for real humans seem to be shrinking at the same time corporate privacy rights are expanding.
Disclosure of contributors to political campaigns, and campaign advertisements, used to be an unobjectionable proposition. Now, resisting it is a matter of highest principle. Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs for the United States Chamber of Commerce, told Jake Tapper, “We’re under no obligation, as any organization or association in the United States is, to divulge who its members are, who its contributors are.” Why? Explained Josten: “We’re not going to subject our contributors to harassment, to intimidation, and to threats and to invasions of privacy at their houses and at their places of business, which is what has happened every time there’s been disclosure here.”
This growing deference to trembling corporate sensitivity would be merely amusing were it not for the fact that, as the idea of corporate privacy and dignity catches hold in the American judiciary, basic notions of privacy and dignity for actual human beings seem to be on the wane.
Read more on Slate.