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Privacy helps promote many of the freedoms that any good declaration of human rights would protect. Press freedom, freedom of movement, and freedom of belief. There are countless people who need to vanish but have not taken the appropriate steps, even though doing so might be protecting human rights. In some cases, like Theo van Ghogh, it is unfortunately too late to do anything like send him a copy of How to Vanish and we can only learn from his unfortunate examples. I don’t know if they are unaware of the benefits, or if they are looking and know not where to find the information that they need. Maybe it hasn’t even occurred to them that they need to know how to vanish to protect themselves, their families, their wealth, and even their lives.
Press Freedom is Comedic Freedom
Trey Parker and Matt Stone recently made an attempt to parody a religious figure in a cartoon without much thought to the consequences to their lives or safety. Thinly veiled threats were cast soon after the news of this parody became public, warning of violence against them. I haven’t seen the offending episode, but there is no level of comedic sacrilege that rises to the level of a capital crime. Press freedom is a basic freedom, even if is not very funny. I don’t know if they have taken the appropriate steps to make themselves vanish yet, but as soon as the book How To Vanish is released, which it will be soon, I am thinking of sending them a copy.
Declaration of Human Rights, Even for Politicians
And it’s not just comedians who need to be protecting human rights. I may not care too much for many politicians, but they have family members who really can’t be blamed for the mess those politicians have gotten everyone into. Newsweek, with their press freedom, recently reported that the brother of a crazy politician became the target of the ire of his brother’s constituents. Regardless of whether the politician deserved it or not, I bet the brother didn’t. Can we really blame Roger Clinton for the reckless lifestyle of his brother, or Billy Carter for the ineffectiveness of his brother, or Harpo Marx for the bumblings of his brother? The publicity of some branches of a family tree makes the other branches that much more vulnerable to privacy invasion.
Protecting Press Freedom and Other Freedoms
The most basic steps that can be taken to avoid the plight of the comedian and the relatives of comedians would be to maintain anonymous residences by owning property in trust, renting a residence from a private party, using location independent communication, like MyFax.com, and never disclosing the actual physical address to anyone.
Press Freedom… For Real This Time
Journalists and their sources are similarly at risk of exposure to some harms from their lack of knowledge of the concepts of How To Vanish. Apple is threatening legal action against Gizmodo and the person who turned the prototype iphone 4G in to have it analyzed and its specs published. Although I do not condone any actions in violation of any law, had both entities used proper techniques to anonymously disclose the information to those who could anonymously disseminate it, both would be free from the hassles of any frivolous or meritless lawsuits, which can and often do bankrupt innocent parties in the attempt to fight the frivolous and meritless claims.
Some easy ways to do this would be to use anonymous email addresses, register the domain of a website in the name of an offshore LLC which has nominee directors and host that website in a far flung part of the globe.
There are probably thousands of other examples. The point is that these people may not even know the benefit of vanishing, the risks that their exposure may present or How To Vanish. Also, sharing the techniques of How To Vanish with others in your social circle increases the privacy of your entire social network. Go ahead and email, retweet or share on Facebook this, or any other article that might save people time, money, freedom or safety. You may even help facilitate Hawala transactions, private communications, location independence and other important privacy practices by doing so.