In the digital age, we should not expect our communications to remain private


Welcome to the latest Register Debate in which writers discuss technology topics, and you – the reader – choose the winning argument.

The format is simple: we propose a motion, the arguments for the motion will run this Monday and Wednesday, and the arguments against this Tuesday and Thursday.

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During the week you can cast your vote on which side you support using the poll embedded below, choosing whether you're in favour or against the motion. The final score will be announced on Friday, revealing whether the for or against argument was most popular. It's up to our writers to convince you to vote for their side.

This week's motion is: In the digital age, we should not expect our communications to remain private

We all face the attentions of a range of actors for whom our “privacy” is at best an afterthought.

Against this, the UN says we all have a right to privacy. But what that actually means in the digital age is hard to define. What this “universal” right means in practice can depend on local laws, the service providers we use, even our employers. And that’s just the stuff laid out in black and white.

So, should we set our desktop theme to rose tinted, or keep it set, resolutely, to shades of grey?

This is the debate process

Phase OnePhase TwoResult
Phase 1

Read the opening arguments on Monday and Tuesday

Phase 2

Read the closing arguments on Wednesday and Thursday


Voting closes Thursday evening and the results announced on Friday

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