Andy McKay

Nov 09, 2016

If you've got nothing to hide...


When it was revealed that every Government in the world was using technology to spy unlawfully on every other country, there was an arugment that this was acceptable "as long as you have nothing to hide". That argument is, of course, complete rubbish and individual freedoms and rights to privacy are extremely important.

But we've just witnessed in the US another problem with this argument. It's acceptable "as long as you have nothing to hide from every single government and authority that is going to possibly come after". For example, the current Canadian Liberal government might be "ok", but who's going to get elected next. And next? What happens if one of those governments is like the one coming into the US?

There is a chilling example of this in history. In the Netherlands they recorded peoples information in a census and that included peoples religion. In 1941 there were about 140,000 Dutch Jews living in the Netherlands. After the Nazi invasion there were an estimated 35,000 left. Because the Government had census data for them, it was easy for the Nazis to find and eliminate them using that data.

Some 75% of the Dutch-Jewish population perished, an unusually high percentage compared with other occupied countries in western Europe.

Wikipedia

As Cory Doctrow said today:

Most of my (admittedly small) readership lives in North America or Europe. That means there's likely a Government surveillance operation monitoring you. It could be internal (in my case CSIS) or external (in my case the NSA). Even worse, they share their information with each other through Five Eyes to get around laws. There is a:

"supra-national intelligence organisation that doesn't answer to the known laws of its own countries"

Edward Snowden, via Wikipedia

The US has just elected someone who repeatedly spews lies, rascism, sexism, hatred and profiling and has said he will go after his enemies [1]. That person will soon oversee the largest surveillance operation in the history of mankind. A surveillance operation that spys on the majority of people reading this blog. That should worry you.


[1] By enemies, that's the press, women who accuse him of doing the things he says he does and so on. But you know all this right?