The “instrumental” argument against torture – that it doesn’t work – invites the conclusion that on those occasions where torture would work, there’s nothing wrong with using it. But the primary reason not to torture isn’t its efficacy or lack thereof: it’s that torture is barbaric. It is immoral. It is wrong. It rots societies from the inside out.
And so it is with mass surveillance. As the exiled WikiLeaks volunteer Jacob Appelbaum said to me this week in Berlin, “Surveillance makes you say ‘yes’ when your conscience says ‘no.'”
–Cory Doctorow on not using “ends justifies the means” arguments.