Monday, 9 February 2009

Nothing to Hide ,Nothing To Fear

I am sick of hearing this.In every conversation about Ingsoc's latest e-voyeur database plans, someone always comes out with 'If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear' delivered in that smug tone that implies 'I'll bet you're afraid because you're hiding something'. The thought police must be so proud of that.Yes, I am hiding something. A lot of things. So are you.Okay then, here's the challenge. If you truly, absolutely believe that you have nothing to hide, if you really believe there is nothing to fear, post your name. Your address. Your NI number and passport and driver's licence numbers. Your bank details along with how much is in each account. Your children's names and ages and where they go to school. Your mother's maiden name and your account numbers for electricity and gas supplies. The name of your mortgage provider.What's that? Invasion of privacy, you say? Oh, but you have nothing to hide and therefore nothing to fear. Your government has all those details and many more. Every official who feels like it can have a peek. So what's hidden, really? You have nothing to fear, do you?Ah, but I hear some discontented rumblings. This information should not be handed out lightly. Someone might use it to hijack your life and steal all your money, or take out huge loans and leave you to pay them. All that is true. But you have nothing to fear, because you have nothing to hide, so post away.Where did you go on holiday? Who went with you? When did you last use your credit card? What did you buy? Who did you phone? Who did you email? Which websites have you visited?Don't want to answer? Why not? If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear and your government already has all this information anyway. On databases, linked and cross referenced and entrusted to private companies, not all of them UK-based.It's different though, you think. Your information is safer with the government than with just any unknown blogger. You really believe that? Then name the officials, clerks, office juniors and janitors who have access to that information in your files. You no more know them than you know me, so what's the difference?There is one difference, in fact.I won't put your details on a disk or USB stick and leave them around for just anyone to find. In that respect, you can trust me with your details more than you can trust your government.Nothing to hide? Nothing you want to keep to yourself? Nothing?It is a true statement in the end. He who has nothing to hide has nothing to fear, but he who has nothing to hide has nothing at all. We all have information we want kept private. We all have passwords and bank details and travel plans we don't want broadcast or left on a train. We all have something to hide.Thanks to Labour, we now all have a great deal to fear.So, smug Righteous out there, can we finally drop this 'nothing to hide' nonsense? It's never been true about any of us. If you stop and think for a moment, you'll realise it was never true about you either.

Article by Leg-Iron

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