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Why ‘I Have Nothing to Hide’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance

GottaGo

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shlunka

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Having nothing to hide isn't the same thing as not wishing every aspect of your life to be public.
 

German guy

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Yep... maybe it makes our lives safer if they monitor everything we write in private... but if that's the price, that price is too high. I'd rather live with more privacy and less safety.
 

davidtaylorjr

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Even if one has 'nothing to hide' there's this little thing called privacy that I'm partial to.

And each step, each crumb we give away, will further erode our privacy.
We don't actually have a right to privacy. However, we do have the right to not be searched without warrant.
 

Fisher

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"Nothing we can do to stop it so why get worked up over it" is probably more the aggregate public sentiment.
 

ThePlayDrive

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This is so basic that I can't believe there are so many people who buy into or advocate the "I have nothing to hide" argument.

Much of the response to the NSA leaks has made me question even further the intellectual capacity of many of my fellow Americans. "I have nothing to hide" is a such a simplistic and, in turn, dumb response to such broad surveillance. It not only ignores Constitutional and ethical arguments. It also ignores the reality that seemingly innocuous information can be and has been used against people in the past.

So dumb.
 

d0gbreath

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I just installed RedPhone and Text Hide for Androids. They can still tell where I'm at, just not what I'm saying or texting.
 

Ikari

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I just installed RedPhone and Text Hide for Androids. They can still tell where I'm at, just not what I'm saying or texting.
I've been ending most of my tests and calls these days with "**** the NSA". Because seriously....**** the NSA. A bunch of god damned terrorists.
 

rhinefire

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The concept if I am not a lawbreaker then I dont care what the authorities do is heaven on earth for totalitarianism. When the populace turns it's back on what the law enforcers do then they will suffer the ultimate consequence because breaking the laws will no longer be the base of arresting people. Arresting people will be the base of arresting people. Dictatorships are "allowed" to happen as people simply turn their heads. Look at what has happened in the last few years in the middle east. Those rioters are saying "NO' to the dictactors despite the consequences because death is better than slavery to a free people and lately they have seen examples of freedom through the internet. Prior to that they had only heard rumors and those were denied by the governments they now riot to eliminate.
 

Travelsonic

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I'll go a step further:

Nothing to hide is a logical impossibility.

Privacy, used in many ways by everybody everywhere, every day IS HIDING. It may be bad, good, illegal, legal, right, or wrong... it may have to do with credit card information, banking info, intelligence, or merely something embarrassing that happened to you or a friend that you want to keep under wraps... but it is still hiding.
 
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d0gbreath

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I must hide what I must hide. This is just like playing hide and go seek, Except we're older now, and hiding stuff instead of our selves. Maybe that too. I've always thought that I would need to create a FB page in my real name, if I was job searching. Keep your internet selves as anonymous as you can, and never talk about, you know, that thing. Real messages will be sent by courrier.
 

Jerry

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Yep... maybe it makes our lives safer if they monitor everything we write in private... but if that's the price, that price is too high. I'd rather live with more privacy and less safety.
I'm not terribly interested in being kept safe.
 

German guy

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I'm not terribly interested in being kept safe.
Well, being safe is not a bad thing, IMO... but please not on the cost of basic civil and/or human rights. And privacy of correspondence is a rather basic civil right.

I don't want any government agency reading my private mail, unless they have substantial evidence against me they have to present a judge, who then has to take the responsibility for any possible wiretapping action. And I have the option of taking legal action against that.
 

Helix

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great article. we really need to revoke much of the patriot act. surveillance should require real oversight, not kangaroo courts.

Those in power will essentially have what they need to punish anyone they’d like, whenever they choose, as if there were no rules at all.
and this is true.

there's something else we need to discuss, though.

"Why didn't they connect the dots before horrible event X happened?"

well, this is how dots are connected. the current surveillance doesn't stop all attacks, but it stops a lot of them. more will happen without it, but i think that's a risk that we're going to have to accept. there's just too much potential for abuse.
 
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