|The care of human life and happiness, said Thomas Jefferson, is the first and only object of good government. As such, governments – and the political institutions, legal structures, and economic infrastructures that support them – seek to apply all of the resources around them to further their reach and their control. This is especially true of technology: in every industrialized age, governments have used technology to tax their citizens, to protect their borders and their economic interests, to communicate and shape opinion, and to monitor their activities. The continual challenge, of course, is how governments use such technology in the care of human life and happiness balanced against the tyranny and subterfuge that this same technology makes possible.
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