20 June 2014

The idea that you have nothing to hide so nothing to fear is often used to undermine the urgency of surveillance opposition. It also shapes our psychology as we carelessly wander the web, leaving trails and thoughts for profilers to view us intimately.

There are a lot of good reasons to reject the idea. Below are just some of those reasons.

Admittedly, these may seem paranoid or overly fearful, but I imagine many people were fairly relaxed in the years before Stalinism or the Third Reich. It is historically hard to predict when the conditions for totalitarianism will emerge.

As much as our government’s take precautions on our behalf to halt the rise of odious regimes taking hold across the world (e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan), we as citizens must ensure that our own governments do not have excessive powers now, lest they are themselves overtaken by tyrranical elements.

These are imagined scenarios (some with historical precedent) depicting how today’s data profiling could be used to

If you are a politically active or vocal individual, you will be known and dealt with

If you are friends with a politically notable individual, that connection would be known. You may then be encouraged to participate in the demise of this individual.

If you have even been near the site or protests, these records could be used to mark you (Ukraine text messages recently).