Who Needs Privacy?


Pic of the day: The Garden of Eden, by Thomas Cole

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A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.

John Milton, Paradise Lost

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“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.” 

These are words that are thrown about by a number of people.

Apologists for the homeland security apparatus.

People who don’t care overmuch about privacy.

People who think security is more important than freedom or just think security is important.

People who honestly think that only people with something to hide has anything to worry about.

Silly people all.

The problem with being surveilled, studied like some rat in a maze has nothing to do with the people who are being surveilled.  It has more to do with the people who are doing the surveillance, and the moral implication of their actions.

Why are they looking at me? How are they going to use the information they glean from watching me?  What inferences are they making about my actions from what they see?  Just because they can see what I think of as me doing perfectly legal things, does not mean they see that. Their eyes watching me does not guarantee that they will see the things I am doing in the same light that I see them in.  Who gave them permission to surveil me, to watch me when I am doing nothing wrong? Where does my dignity go when my most private movements are up for viewing by faceless, nameless strangers?

Privacy is a basic human need and anyone who uses that argument about having nothing to worry about if you’ve done no wrong forget that basic human need.  No one has the right to steal my privacy from me.  No one.  Those who don’t mind losing their privacy also don’t mind losing their dignity.  Anyone who believes in that argument believes that the steely eyes of unseen strangers are acceptable ornaments in our lives, ornaments that are in truth nothing more than chains around our hands and feet.

I do not trust those who surveil me, not because I have something to hide, but because they are hidden in every way imaginable while they watch me.

This isn’t really about security, it’s about control, control of my life and my world.  I won’t give that up meekly or weakly.  I will fight for my right to live as a free man.  Anyone supporting the nothing to worry about if you’ve got nothing to hide thought process supports giving up control of their personal lives.

Which is frankly stupid and Un-American.

Just saying…

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

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