Over the last several weeks we have seen a wave of privacy advocates hit the internet forums and blogs to make a case for privacy and anonymity as net neutrality is in the mainstream media once again.
There are those who, if they had it their way, privacy and anonymity would not only be illegal, but impossible to obtain. We’ve seen intelligence agencies performing dragnet style surveillance programs under the guise of fighting terrorism and child pornography and even those pesky pot smokers hoping to buy drugs on one of these online black markets. We’ve seen President Obama make statements about the governments NEED to have unfettered access to everyone's device in the interest of national security. We’ve seen politician after politician make the case against the right of the people to remain private and anonymous.
The most common argument I’m sure we’ve all heard is, “If you are not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide.” Now it’s difficult for me to see any merit to this argument when most of the people saying this don’t actually believe it. If they did, they’d have no problem posting all their passwords and bank information on Twitter…but we don’t see that happening do we?
Some really clever rebuttals to this statement are, “If i’m not doing anything wrong then you have no reason to spy on me” or “The government defines what’s wrong and what’s not and they keep changing their mind” or my personal favorite, “Those bad actors may sell or use my information in a malicious way.”
All accurate statements in opposition to the position held by State officials, but they still assume that privacy and anonymity are solely for the purpose of hiding or doing bad things we might not want exposed. Nothing could be further from the truth.