Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Nothing to Hide

I read a paper arguing against the "nothing to hide" argument (pdf) most people use when it comes to the government prying in our business. I admit I've used this argument myself because it's true. I've got nothing to hide. My life is pretty boring and I have documentation to prove it. The arguments against this "nothing to hide" policy are compelling. The author really did his home work and brings up some valid points. For example; if you have nothing to hide then you shouldn't mind letting the author of that paper take a naked photo of you, own the rights to it, and let him distribute it as he sees fit.

In the authors defense, there are people like that. They're called porn stars. Although I use this argument when it comes to my personal electronic communication, I think there is some kind of boundary when it comes to nudity. Why the author would want naked pictures of me in the first place is what would disturb me. Any one that wants naked pictures of me, very likely, should be the ones the government is monitoring.

And to answer his question, "Do you have curtains in your home?" Of course, you don't expect me to get my game on with light reflecting off my computer monitor do you? I have thick light blocking curtains. But sometimes, when I'm not gaming and it's a nice day, I totally open up those curtains and let anyone that wants to look in and see how I live. Now, again, at night when I'm changing into my pajama's, no I would rather not let all my neighbors see that. I guess my question is, where is the line when it comes to privacy? There are privacy issues that let the government read my email and potentially catch me doing crimes, and there are issues that let my neighbor see me naked. I think they're very different and shouldn't be mixed up, which seems to be the fundamental argument of this paper.

When the government starts to request naked pictures, or video camera's in my home, I'll draw the line. But if they just want to make sure I'm law biding citizen, which ultimately exonerates me of any potential crime I could be accused of, I'm all for it. That begins my philosophy that even an innocent man that gets accused of a crime is already having problems. In most cases just being accused is just as bad as actually committing the crime. If my email's and phone calls can help out an innocent person then I'm all for that (especially if it's me) just as much as I'm all for them finding legitimate criminals. Honestly I can't see how removing my curtains will help convect, or not convect, anyone of a crime. Except of course that crime was in my home... than I would have something to hide.

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