You have heard it said, “If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.”
Think for a moment about the recent NSA spying scandal and what it has taught us. As much as Edward Snowden’s critics attempt to demonize him by pointing out that he is a high school dropout, an Army quitter, a lowly security guard who somehow or other flubbed his way into a job where he gained access to this top secret information, what these critics don’t realize is that they are making the very point for why we should not be happy entrusting our most personal information to a bunch of faceless government agencies. Because the faceless government agencies aren’t really faceless at all; they are populated by the very same types of potential criminals and nogoodniks that we would avoid sharing our personal information with on the street. Think about the extraordinary amount of data that someone like Snowden—a lowly employee of a subcontractor of the NSA—can access about you personally at any time he desires. As he himself stated: “I sitting at my desk certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, to your accountant, to a federal judge to even the President if I had a personal email.”
You have something to fear about giving up private data to faceless individuals precisely because you have no idea how these people are going to use that information, or whether it will ever be misused. And when you realize that with the construction of the NSA’s new 1.5 million square foot data center in Utah the US government now has the ability to essentially store all of this data forever, you are entrusting your personal information not just to one potential criminal on the street, but to every single federal employee who ever has access to that data, and to anyone who might gain access to that data illegally. The government is essentially creating a trough of information that would be almost literally invaluable to any potential criminal or group of criminals, and making every effort to ensure that that trough is never emptied. How can anyone possibly be OK with this?
Think about this the next time someone tries to tell you they have nothing to hide.
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