Much more is at risk than our privacy. We have been living with the comforting myth that the great progress we have witnessed in human behavior since the mid-20th century, the reductions in violence, in the brutality of the state, in torture, in mass killing, cannot be reversed. There can be no more holocausts; no more genocides; no more Stalinist gulags. We insist on believing there is a new floor below which people and governments cannot sink. But this is just another illusion born in the era that is now passing.