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Thread: "I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear."

  1. #1
    #LOCKE4GOD "I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear." Alpha's Avatar
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    "I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear."

    What do you think of this assertion?

    I'm writing this in light of recent events (NSA, and actually something very similar in NZ... where American surveillance technology was trialled in New Zealand to get around the US Constitution's restrictions on American citizens, by spying on us here, where the Bill of Rights is routinely trampled on because of Parliamentary Sovereignty... but this is another rant for another day.)

    I don't like this defence. Discussing this with a friend, he's like: "So they can read my emails. All they'll find is a bunch of communication with my lecturer, spam, and conversations with people I'm buying and selling with. Let them waste their time." My issue is that surveillance is such a slippery slope. We allow one transgression here, and then the next time we say "Well they've already got Power X and it ain't 1984, so giving them Power Y will be fine too." But then what of Power Z? Do we really know what is in store when we trade away privacy?

    I found this on Reddit, I thought it was good:

    I live in a country generally assumed to be a dictatorship. One of the Arab spring countries. I have lived through curfews and have seen the outcomes of the sort of surveillance now being revealed in the US. People here talking about curfews aren't realizing what that actually FEELS like. It isn't about having to go inside, and the practicality of that. It's about creating the feeling that everyone, everything is watching. A few points:

    1) the purpose of this surveillance from the governments point of view is to control enemies of the state. Not terrorists. People who are coalescing around ideas that would destabilize the status quo. These could be religious ideas. These could be groups like anon who are too good with tech for the governments liking. It makes it very easy to know who these people are. It also makes it very simple to control these people.

    Lets say you are a college student and you get in with some people who want to stop farming practices that hurt animals. So you make a plan and go to protest these practices. You get there, and wow, the protest is huge. You never expected this, you were just goofing off. Well now everyone who was there is suspect. Even though you technically had the right to protest, you're now considered a dangerous person.

    With this tech in place, the government doesn't have to put you in jail. They can do something more sinister. They can just email you a sexy picture you took with a girlfriend. Or they can email you a note saying that they can prove your dad is cheating on his taxes. Or they can threaten to get your dad fired. All you have to do, the email says, is help them catch your friends in the group. You have to report back every week, or you dad might lose his job. So you do. You turn in your friends and even though they try to keep meetings off grid, you're reporting on them to protect your dad.

    2) Let's say number one goes on. The country is a weird place now. Really weird. Pretty soon, a movement springs up like occupy, except its bigger this time. People are really serious, and they are saying they want a government without this power. I guess people are realizing that it is a serious deal. You see on the news that tear gas was fired. Your friend calls you, frantic. They're shooting people. Oh my god. you never signed up for this. You say, **** it. My dad might lose his job but I won't be responsible for anyone dying. That's going too far. You refuse to report anymore. You just stop going to meetings. You stay at home, and try not to watch the news. Three days later, police come to your door and arrest you. They confiscate your computer and phones, and they beat you up a bit. No one can help you so they all just sit quietly. They know if they say anything they're next. This happened in the country I live in. It is not a joke.

    3) Its hard to say how long you were in there. What you saw was horrible. Most of the time, you only heard screams. People begging to be killed. Noises you've never heard before. You, you were lucky. You got kicked every day when they threw your moldy food at you, but no one shocked you. No one used sexual violence on you, at least that you remember. There were some times they gave you pills, and you can't say for sure what happened then. To be honest, sometimes the pills were the best part of your day, because at least then you didn't feel anything. You have scars on you from the way you were treated. You learn in prison that torture is now common. But everyone who uploads videos or pictures of this torture is labeled a leaker. Its considered a threat to national security. Pretty soon, a cut you got on your leg is looking really bad. You think it's infected. There were no doctors in prison, and it was so overcrowded, who knows what got in the cut. You go to the doctor, but he refuses to see you. He knows if he does the government can see the records that he treated you. Even you calling his office prompts a visit from the local police.

    You decide to go home and see your parents. Maybe they can help. This leg is getting really bad. You get to their house. They aren't home. You can't reach them no matter how hard you try. A neighbor pulls you aside, and he quickly tells you they were arrested three weeks ago and haven't been seen since. You vaguely remember mentioning to them on the phone you were going to that protest. Even your little brother isn't there.

    4) Is this even really happening? You look at the news. Sports scores. Celebrity news. It's like nothing is wrong. What the hell is going on? A stranger smirks at you reading the paper. You lose it. You shout at him "**** you dude what are you laughing at can't you see I've got a ****ing wound on my leg?"

    "Sorry," he says. "I just didn't know anyone read the news anymore." There haven't been any real journalists for months. They're all in jail.

    Everyone walking around is scared. They can't talk to anyone else because they don't know who is reporting for the government. Hell, at one time YOU were reporting for the government. Maybe they just want their kid to get through school. Maybe they want to keep their job. Maybe they're sick and want to be able to visit the doctor. It's always a simple reason. Good people always do bad things for simple reasons.

    You want to protest. You want your family back. You need help for your leg. This is way beyond anything you ever wanted. It started because you just wanted to see fair treatment in farms. Now you're basically considered a terrorist, and everyone around you might be reporting on you. You definitely can't use a phone or email. You can't get a job. You can't even trust people face to face anymore. On every corner, there are people with guns. They are as scared as you are. They just don't want to lose their jobs. They don't want to be labeled as traitors.

    This all happened in the country where I live.

    You want to know why revolutions happen? Because little by little by little things get worse and worse. But this thing that is happening now is big. This is the key ingredient. This allows them to know everything they need to know to accomplish the above. The fact that they are doing it is proof that they are the sort of people who might use it in the way I described. In the country I live in, they also claimed it was for the safety of the people. Same in Soviet Russia. Same in East Germany. In fact, that is always the excuse that is used to surveil everyone. But it has never ONCE proven to be the reality.

    Maybe Obama won't do it. Maybe the next guy won't, or the one after him. Maybe this story isn't about you. Maybe it happens 10 or 20 years from now, when a big war is happening, or after another big attack. Maybe it's about your daughter or your son. We just don't know yet. But what we do know is that right now, in this moment we have a choice. Are we okay with this, or not? Do we want this power to exist, or not?

    You know for me, the reason I'm upset is that I grew up in school saying the pledge of allegiance. I was taught that the United States meant "liberty and justice for all." You get older, you learn that in this country we define that phrase based on the constitution. That's what tells us what liberty is and what justice is. Well, the government just violated that ideal. So if they aren't standing for liberty and justice anymore, what are they standing for? Safety?

    Ask yourself a question. In the story I told above, does anyone sound safe?

    I didn't make anything up. These things happened to people I know. We used to think it couldn't happen in America. But guess what? It's starting to happen.

    I actually get really upset when people say "I don't have anything to hide. Let them read everything." People saying that have no idea what they are bringing down on their own heads. They are naive, and we need to listen to people in other countries who are clearly telling us that this is a horrible horrible sign and it is time to stand up and say no.
    Bonus question: How do you react? The thing about online data collection is that everything collected was at some time willingly given. Sure, emails aren't private... but no one is forcing you to use your real name or photograph. People I know are increasingly creating an online nom de plume and personas that distort who they really are, even on 'public' sites like Facebook. Because if you can't control who's collecting your information, you can still cloud it.
    Last edited by Alpha; 06-11-2013 at 10:39 PM.


  2. #2
    Snooping and tracking people is still against their freedom of privacy, no matter how you spin it. Next thing you know, the cops and FBI will be able to enter your house without warrants. Why? Because of national security. Yeah, it's alot easier for them to maintain control and order when they have more power, but with more power comes more authoritarianism and where does it go from there? Next thing you know, your freedoms will start getting taken from you more and more and what will happen then?

  3. #3
    (ღ˘⌣˘ღ) "I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear." che's Avatar
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    "I do nothing illegal, so I do not mind." is a terrible argument if only for the fact of being wrongfully accused. In court, evidence is used against you. Anything the NSA picks up can be used as evidence against you, whether guilty or innocent, to help sway a jury's decision on if you are guilty or not. If this doesn't scare you, google the people who spend over a decade in jail, only to be released later (some have died in prison). Lives are ruined, and for no good reason.

    Yes, it can potentially save lives as well. But if I know government, or anyone with power, they will use that power. Especially when something doesn't quite go their way, and it's their ass or "some random guy". So your skype and facebook chats get pulled up and quoted in court out of context or whatever the hell it may be. But he magically never had skype...

    I have many privacy fixes. Google Chrome extentions which block ads, remove "like this on facebook" or "post this to twitter" buttons from websites, and block websites who track which pages you visit. (If you use facebook and save your password, facebook puts a cookie on your machine that tracks what sites you visit, and then displays ads relevant to your interests based on what that cookie tracks.) Nothing stops them from tracking my IP, and IPs can be used to locate you physically.

    I don't use my full name on youtube, but I'm sure many people here know my channel. All this shit, is ****ing private. Surely there are better ways that are safer and less invasive for innocent people becoming victims of corruptive abuse to catch da bad guys.

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  4. #4
    Sicc in the head & n0t sober. "I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear." noxious.sunshine's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter whether it's an invasion of people's rights. The government can and will do whatever the hell they want in the way of things like this. Cops only need "reasonable belief" - which they can make up just for the fun of it.

    Think your phone can't be tapped for no reason? Think again. There are "trigger" words that can cause the government to listen in on your conversation and possibly be further investigated. Someone my parents' knew went through this. Like my parents', this person hauled military equipment and had pretty high security clearances. He said something involving one or more of those trigger words. While he didn't go to prison, he did lose his job and clearances and -was- investigated.

    I avoid using my real name as often as possible. My facebook account doesn't have my real last name, my real birthdate, or where I actually live, even though that's kind of a moot point since it's all over this place where my location is and of course the IP on the computer can be tracked.

    Either way, it's effed up and sadly, I have a feeling things will continue to head in that direction as technology and things like that progress & advance.

  5. #5
    Virmire Survivor Rocky's Avatar
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    The government cant even get it right with all the tools they have now, and are abusing their powers as we speak (see: IRS Scandal of 2013.) And people want to give them even more power? I read that same article that Alpha posted, and I cant agree more.

    Also, like Alpha, I have a few friends who now just strictly use their fb for pretty much free advertisement so "when the mark of the beast and everything rolls around the government will just look me over because they know I'm harmless" (this was all in a half joking manner but was a good point nonetheless).
    Last edited by Rocky; 06-12-2013 at 03:04 AM. Reason: holy **** i cant into parentheses
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  6. #6
    (ღ˘⌣˘ღ) &quot;I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear.&quot; che's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noxious.sunshine View Post
    It doesn't matter whether it's an invasion of people's rights. The government can and will do whatever the hell they want in the way of things like this. Cops only need "reasonable belief" - which they can make up just for the fun of it.
    But it does matter. You and I both seem to agree that at least some people are corrupt and will do what they want. Even if they are cops. Then if you had ANY way at all to defend yourself, you just lost it to his buddy who pulled up your skype and facebook and used it in a court case stating that you'd "**** a cop up". Ohhhh man. So not only do you hate cops and they treated you unfairly, when you were one of the people that DID get a right to trial you just got ****ed because of something you said. The jury convincts you guilty.

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  7. #7
    Sicc in the head & n0t sober. &quot;I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear.&quot; noxious.sunshine's Avatar
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    I meant it -does- matter, but not to the cops, they'll do whatever they want regardless.

    lol Kinda reminds me of when I got stopped by a state trooper.. He found a blunt roach in my cup holder, pulled me out of the car, searched the car - and me - shoving his hands down my pockets and whatnot. I didn't know that that was illegal even for a state trooper until like 2 years later.

    The gubment doesn't get it right 'cuz they do what benefits -them-. .. On a larger scale anyway. Or well, at least that's kinda my opinion on it.

    Meh. It's all The Illuminati, I say. ^_^;;

  8. #8
    (ღ˘⌣˘ღ) &quot;I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear.&quot; che's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noxious.sunshine View Post
    lol Kinda reminds me of when I got stopped by a state trooper.. He found a blunt roach in my cup holder, pulled me out of the car, searched the car - and me - shoving his hands down my pockets and whatnot. I didn't know that that was illegal even for a state trooper until like 2 years later.
    Most citizens in the US don't know their rights. Especially on the state level. He would have to have probably cause to search your car (smell is prominent). If you were arrested, he should have read the miranda to you. It's good to be critical about your own rights as a citizen because it keeps corrupt officials from walking all over everyone and doing what we all hate - exactly what they want. They are people too.

    Normal citizens. They have good or bad views, some can be bad. Some can be very bad when they are given certain powers.

    I stream Bloodborne, FFXIV, and occasionally other games.
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  9. #9
    #LOCKE4GOD &quot;I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear.&quot; Alpha's Avatar
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    Having trust in the police is the most important thing in society. If you can't trust the police, everything else falls to shit. I was very concerned hearing during Occupy protests of police officers wearing the same ID number.

    I think it is very healthy to be critical of the police, to keep them on top of their game. When my dad was younger, he'd often get stopped on the road (for looking young, so maybe improperly licensed). They always asked him 'what he'd been doing' and took notes in a little notebook. He started asking them how their night was, recording their answer in his own notebook, and always always always asking them for their ID number. Some of them thought he was snarky. Those were the dumb ones. Others knew he was well within his rights to do so, and happily gave him details. The police work for us.

    However the same should apply to the government. If the government has to take our information without our consent in order to stop us being victimised, we have already been victimised.

    There are those who say that this is no different from giving information to Google, voluntarily. Indeed, the NSA shows that this is among the information that is being collated. The issue here is that I have consented for that information to be collected by Google (or whatever company I'm dealing with) in return for a service. I get choice results when I Google things. I get to use Facebook. They get to sell ads to me. That's what I consent to. I don't consent for it to be used for anything else. When something personal---my body, my information---is taken from me without consent, I have been victimised. I don't think the fact that it is merely metadata is relevant. If they can take metadata now, why not the actual data in ten years? Not giving consent is not giving consent, and is absolute. The government works for me.


  10. #10
    Sicc in the head & n0t sober. &quot;I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear.&quot; noxious.sunshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by che View Post
    Most citizens in the US don't know their rights. Especially on the state level. He would have to have probably cause to search your car (smell is prominent). If you were arrested, he should have read the miranda to you. It's good to be critical about your own rights as a citizen because it keeps corrupt officials from walking all over everyone and doing what we all hate - exactly what they want. They are people too.

    Normal citizens. They have good or bad views, some can be bad. Some can be very bad when they are given certain powers.
    The roach had been from the night before, there was no smell in my car 'cuz I'd been driving with the windows down and had sprayed air freshener. I had gone to Nashville to pick up my last check from my old job, crashed at someone's house for the night, and made the 4 hr trip back to my parents' the next morning. The roach was in like some dried coke, so I didn't see it (both being brown and whatnot). It's not the searching my car that's the issue, it's searching my actual -person-. I didn't know that even state troopers were supposed to call for female back up if they wanted to do a physical search on a suspect. I wasn't arrested or anything, just given a hefty speeding ticket.

  11. #11
    (ღ˘⌣˘ღ) &quot;I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear.&quot; che's Avatar
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    Here is a video where a woman is saying she was molested in court. She then confronts the judge about it, the judge does nothing. How safe do you feel? "Yeah, the government and it's henchmen can just take care of it, I'm innocent." Think again.

    I stream Bloodborne, FFXIV, and occasionally other games.
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  12. #12
    Sicc in the head & n0t sober. &quot;I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear.&quot; noxious.sunshine's Avatar
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    Good point. lulz. On the other side of the token, there have been many cases where I -could- have and probably -should- have gone to jail, but was let go and not even given a ticket or citation or anything. One cop, though, after he found out my license was suspended was all "YOU know I could arrest you right now!? and do you know where your -DOG- would go!? He'd go to the -pound-!" and then I cried a lot and he felt sorry for me.

  13. #13
    (ღ˘⌣˘ღ) &quot;I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear.&quot; che's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noxious.sunshine View Post
    Good point. lulz. On the other side of the token, there have been many cases where I -could- have and probably -should- have gone to jail, but was let go and not even given a ticket or citation or anything. One cop, though, after he found out my license was suspended was all "YOU know I could arrest you right now!? and do you know where your -DOG- would go!? He'd go to the -pound-!" and then I cried a lot and he felt sorry for me.
    I have many stories about police being great people. You should PM me about them if you want. The thing is, not everyone is a nice guy. Taking a job as a policemen does not require you to be nice. Especially if the person in charge is super into "justice". And let me tell you the people I have personally known who are in charge, are the worst offenders of all.

    People think of "the people", "the police", and "the government" all as different people. But really, we're all just the same, average people with different amounts of power and wealth.

    So the NSA can suck it.

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  14. #14
    Sicc in the head & n0t sober. &quot;I have nothing to hide so nothing to fear.&quot; noxious.sunshine's Avatar
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    Well. As "same" as we all may be, there are those who abuse having whatever "extra" they have, and those who put it to good use. And that makes us all diff'rent.

    You take the good, you take the bad,
    you take them both and there you have
    The Facts of Life.

    XD

  15. #15
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