Privacy. I Don’t Get It.

Just rambling, typing out loud, as it were, but I’m getting awful tired of watching/listening to/reading things from borderline psychopaths about all the evils the government is causing, specifically as it relates to privacy.

There’s two reasons. One, most folks think anything and everything they do should be known only to themselves. Regardless of how stupidly they utilize social media, where they leave their phones, who else might be using their tablet, what they say to random people on the street or the level of legality of whatever activities they may or may not be involved in. Two, those same folks think everything the government, military and corporations do should be 100% transparent and announced on a minute-to-minute basis across all spectrums of media.

First off, that’s not exactly fair, now is it? If you expect your privacy to be sacrosanct, then you should likewise extend that right to those other folks who are, after all, just as likely to be American citizens as yourself.

As far as the 100% transparency thing goes, it’s idiotic. Because, newsflash, other countries/rogue states/terrorist groups/whatevers have these neat things called computers, smartphones, tablets, televisions and papers, too. “Why, yes, we should reveal exactly what our military and peacekeeping forces are doing at all times! And have updates on every single policy, consideration or comment made at all times! Because in no way will anyone who is potentially an enemy will ever see or hear about it and do something worse, start a war, or lay a trap for those soldiers we’re moving that we all claim to care so much about… right?”

Now, as far as your own privacy goes, fine, I get it, you don’t want everyone to know what you’re up to. Well, here’s a thought: Get off Twitter, Facebook, Vine, YouTube, WordPress and every other social media site that you spend hours a day broadcasting anything and everything that occurs to you, for starters. If you’re concerned about your privacy, take some steps to protect it yourself.

Second, I usually find myself wondering what it is you have to hide. Because the ones who scream the loudest almost always seem to have something incredibly incriminating when they get caught with their pants down. “It’s an invasion of privacy!” they scream, while the FBI carts the stolen weapons and kiddie porn out by the bucketload. Ahem. Sure, that may be an exaggeration, but similar things have happened too often for that to be ignored, and personal experience with the individuals I know very well offline and their positions on the “Invasion of Privacy” spectrum when compared to the illegal activities that I know some of them either support or get up to seem to have an awfully strong correlation.

Me? You can call me an ostrich if you want, but I’m more than willing to give the government my passwords. Why? Nothing to hide. Not doing anything criminal. Don’t have any inclination to, unless they actually end up banning tobacco or dig up the suggested amendment to the Constitution that says holding a noble title in a foreign country means you’re not a citizen of this one. (Which is actually a thing. Look it up.) Why? Because all they’re going to find is a batch of terrible manuscripts, a boatload of bad 80s songs (ripped from CDs I still actually possess into iTunes), and probably some porn that I’ve forgotten is even on the damn hard drive. Oh, my browser history? Nothing exciting there; a whole lot of time reading anything and everything on Wikipedia and browsing Amazon, but nothing seditious in my purchase history, thanks.

Yes, I’m also one of “those” people. The ones who, when accosted by an officer of the law, for whatever reason, tells them they can search his person, his car or his home, if they ask. That answers any and all of their questions respectfully and truthfully. Know what? They almost never actually do the search. Know why? Because they figure if I’m willing to let them do it, they’re not going to find anything. It’s used as a threat and a gague of guilt more often than not, and the ones who start shrieking “I know my rights!” and causing trouble, well, gosh and golly, they’re the ones with the rap sheets and something to hide. Funny how that works, isn’t it? Same logic applies on a grander scale. “Come at me, bro.” I say.

I’m sure there’s plenty reading this who will now say I’m a puppet of the state, endorsing their attempts to strip away our rights and turn us all into their slaves, that I don’t know what I’m saying or doing. C’est la vie. Everyone’s got an opinion. But before you start a flame war, go take a look at your hard drive. Any illegal porn on there? Pirated software? Websites promoting treason or other illegal acts in your browser history? Then go take a look at your social media presence. Anything you yourself have posted that implicates you in something bad or makes it pathetically easy to pinpoint who you are and what you stand for? Unless the answer to both is “no,” perhaps you should be taking a look at your own activities.

Rant over. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.


4 responses to “Privacy. I Don’t Get It.

  1. HAHA! that’s a great rant, and I totally agree with you that those who have something to hide are more likely to scream “invasion of privacy”. There are so many people in this world who want to break the law, but when they get caught, they don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions.

    It’s a pathetic world we live in and it’s filled with pathetic people.

  2. I agree and disagree. (My opinions are never one way or the other?) Yes, if people are concerned about privacy they should shut down their Facebook pages and stop using sites like Google that track your book buying habits, but whenever I hear about the activities about the NSA and GCHQ I ask myself ‘why do they say they’re trying to track down terrorists at the same time as hacking Angela Merkel’s phone?’ The last time I looked, she was the leader of Germany not Islamic State. If they’re tracking our every moves why weren’t they able to stop Lee Rigby’s killers?

    It’s not so much the privacy issue that annoys me (and to cut down on the amount of domestic crime let the police put cameras in every room of our houses; I’ve got nothing to hide either…) it’s the continued incompetence of the security forces in spite of all this technology and back door whatnots. If the intelligence technology is so great why is the world still in a fucking mess? Is there something they’re not telling us?


    ps notice how I sliiped a bit of conspiratorial paranoia in at the end there?

    • “It’s not being paranoid if people are really out to get you.” and “The question isn’t if you’re paranoid, Lenny. It’s if you’re paranoid enough” have always been two of my favorite quotes on the subject… XD

      And I can get behind the logic regarding the seeming inability to actually do anything useful with the information they are ostensibly gathering. I think that’s a two part problem, though; on the one hand, I don’t doubt there are a lot of individuals involved with law enforcement and similar fields who shouldn’t be, either due to incompetence or abuse of their assumed power. But I also think there are people who would love to be doing something decent with what they’ve gathered who are prevented, either from well-meaning but ultimately hampering strings of red tape, or from interference from the first group. It’s a knot that’s probably never going to be untangled, unfortunately, and it seems like all most people want to do is add more layers of string to it.

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