Security

Why 'Nothing to Hide' misrepresents online privacy

A legal research professor explains to Michael P. Kassner why we should think long and hard before subscribing to the "Nothing to Hide" defense of surveillance and data-gathering.

A colleague stopped me in the hallway at work last week, "Hey, I read your article; and I'm not worried. I have nothing to hide from the NSA." As the week progressed, readers began chiming in, a majority belonging to the "Nothing to Hide" crowd as well.

Towards the end of the week, I received a call from my friend, a security analyst who I emailed earlier in the week about the responses I was getting.

After the usual guy-geek gossip, my friend told me about Daniel J. Solove, a Law Research Professor at George Washington University, and how I should talk to Professor Solove about my concerns. But first, I absolutely must read "Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have 'Nothing to Hide'," an essay written by the professor for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The essay turned out to be exactly what I needed:

The nothing-to-hide argument pervades discussions about privacy. The data-security expert Bruce Schneier calls it the "most common retort against privacy advocates." The legal scholar Geoffrey Stone refers to it as an "all-too-common refrain."

That alone reassured me that my concerns were not mine alone.

Government PoV

Next in the essay, the professor sheds light on how governments view "Nothing to Hide":

In Britain, for example, the government has installed millions of public-surveillance cameras in cities and towns, which are watched by officials via closed-circuit television. In a campaign slogan for the program, the government declares: "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear."

On this side of the Atlantic, I suspect NSA personnel feel about the same, since PRISM is their project. As for members of Congress, at least one has made his feelings known; in this YouTube video, Senator Lindsey Graham explains why PRISM is justified.

Bottom line: governments of nation states feel security trumps privacy -- period.

Privacy pundits PoV

Now I'd like to discuss what concerns those who believe their privacy is under attack. Professor Solove divides their concerns into two parts -- surveillance and information processing. The professor equates George Orwell's "Big Brother" to surveillance:

The Orwell metaphor, which focuses on the harms of surveillance (such as inhibition and social control), might be apt to describe government monitoring of citizens.

Next the professor associates the processing of surveillance information with what Franz Kafka investigates in his novel The Trial:

The Trial depicts a bureaucracy with inscrutable purposes that uses people's information to make important decisions about them, yet denies the people the ability to participate in how their information is used.

Professor Solove further explains:

The problems portrayed by the Kafkaesque metaphor are of a different sort than the problems caused by surveillance (Orwell metaphor). They often do not result in inhibition. Instead they are problems of information processing-the storage, use, or analysis of data-rather than of information collection.

To better understand what the professor is saying, let's use a "peeping Tom" example. In the dark of night, a peeping Tom sneaks up to a victim's window and watches the victim, maybe even records a video. That's considered Orwellian surveillance; showing the video to others would be Kafkaesque information dissemination.

Bottom line: Both surveillance and information processing are issue prone from a privacy perspective. The problem in this case is that information processing twists the old adage, "What you don't know can't hurt you" to "What you don't know can hurt you."

Piecing together "Nothing to Hide" information

I'd like to share one last example from the essay. The paradigm involves information even I would stick in the "No need to Hide" category. I'll let the professor explain:

By joining pieces of information we might not take pains to guard, the government can glean information about us that we might indeed wish to conceal. For example, suppose you bought a book about cancer. This purchase isn't very revealing on its own, for it indicates just an interest in the disease.

Suppose you bought a wig. The purchase of a wig, by itself, could be for a number of reasons. But combine those two pieces of information, and now the inference can be made that you have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy. That might be a fact you wouldn't mind sharing, but you'd certainly want to have the choice.

At writer's group, I was talking to Neil Dowdy, fellow writer, and software guru who understands data mining inside and out. I told Neil about the professor's essay and his cancer book/wig example. After which, I asked how hard it would be to code something like that? He chuckled, "I'm working on that kind of program right now: search a database, looking for specified correlations between two or more data points."

Possible responses to "Nothing to Hide"

Professor Solove had an interesting idea; he asked his readers what they would say to someone who championed "Nothing to Hide?" Here are some of the responses:

  • So do you have curtains? Can I see your credit-card bills for the last year?
  • It's not about having anything to hide; it's about things not being anyone else's business.
  • If you have nothing to hide, that means you are willing to let me photograph you naked. And I get full rights to that photograph-so I can show it to your neighbors.

Remember my colleague from work; I laid the third response on him. To his credit, he argued that other than identification, he'd hoped a picture of him naked would be of little interest to the government. I had to agree.

Final thoughts

I think the term "Nothing to hide" is absolutely the wrong one to use in this situation. It implies guilt, not the right to privacy. And to those who champion "Nothing to Hide," I argue, "It's not about having anything to hide: It's about things not being anyone else's business."

About

Information is my field...Writing is my passion...Coupling the two is my mission.

198 comments
BlueCollarCritic
BlueCollarCritic

"Bottom line: governments of nation states feel security trumps privacy -- period."

CORRECTION:  The bottom line is that Government believes authority of the State trumps privacy of the people.  "Security" is just the marketing they use to sell this to the public. 

The governments spying has nothing to do with security.  If this was about security then we'd see less focus and monetary resources dedicated to harassing American citizens when they travel and more dedicated to the actual border where supposed terrorists would enter America.

DavidP9416
DavidP9416

My usual response to someone who says "If you've nothing to hide, why worry about surveillance?" is to ask them whether they have bedroom and toilet doors in their homes. There are many activities we do that are best done in private!

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

Beyond the lucid arguments presented here one long term issue that is missed is what happens later? We are putting in the hands of "Others" very powerful tools. Once these tools are put in place they will not go away. Is it wise to do this, considering all it takes is a change in administration for this tool to be pointed at us? All one needs it to look at is the history of governments to make one concerned about who is watching the watchers. This type of system makes it possible to subjugate a whole population more thoroughly than the East Germany secret police or the KGB did in the past.

rnettgen
rnettgen

Everything sounds good, except when you consider the "what if" factor --- what if one of these terrorist bad guys got a hold of a big, bad nuclear bomb and is planning to use it in the middle of a densely populated area? Yes, we need "checks and balances" to prevent abuses like the IRS harassment of tea party groups scandal. But we REALLY do live in a dangerous world, where evil people murder innocent people by the thousands without remorse just for the sake pushing their point of view. Given the choice of being vulnerable to abuse of power verses being vulnerable to the death blows of an evil, unreasoning enemy, I have to choose the lessor of the two evils.

brentforget
brentforget

Love the read. Deep and still making me think. I was under in the camp of "nothing to hide" until reading this. It is about privacy, and I do prefer it. I prefer to troll and move on after reading most posts. This was one clearly I should have been a troll and move on for, but felt I must leave my digital print for this. I realize I need to learn more on this, but you have opened my eyes to the other side. It really is a matter of privacy being removed. Prefer to keep my junk in my pants, not out in the air ;) Appreciated.

2bczar4u
2bczar4u

Ever been through a TSA body scanner lately? They don't discard those pictures apparently. Along with a picture of my luggage, maybe they can glean that I'm not wearing enough clothes. .......Now if that isn't invading privacy, what is?

veteran tyro
veteran tyro

The example of the innocent purchase of a book on cancer and a wig can be easily carried further and more ominously. Lets say the person purchased the cancer book to help support a friend who has cancer, and the wig was purchased for a Halloween costume. The two are put together, and now a filter is formed. The person books an airplane flight to visit relatives. There happens to be a well known cancer institute nearby. Filtered through the false inference, the travel becomes additional evidence of the person having cancer. Other unrelated activities are added. This "information" is shared with an insurance company who denies the person life insurance because the computer background search indicates the person has cancer. The person has no way to know this information exists, nor anyway to correct it. A more frightening scenario: a third generation American Christian with a Middle Eastern last name, wants to buy a pressure cooker and does an on-line search for features. The last name and the hot button keyword pressure cooker gets correlated. The person becomes labeled and transactions followed and the filtering of future activities begins. Her call to a relative in Syria is recorded. Inferences upon inferences are put together. She is put on a watch list. There is nothing she can do about it. Bad things happen to people with nothing to hide too.

AAC Tech
AAC Tech

I haven't read all 156 comments. What if the information is incorrect? That's what concerns me. You know there can can be some people working for these "information" agencies with rather limited life experience dealing with data that is way over their head. You know, comments made in jest, puns on words, etc. Data is really ALL in the interpretation. That's was scare me. It is fine and dandy to have 'Nothing to Hide' but what if they scew up the 'Nothing to Hide' information.

Gothar
Gothar

"You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide." - Joseph Goebbels Nazi Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propoganda

tech
tech

Kassner's none-of-your(or anyone else's)-business is sound as the first talking-point response. But a second should generally be added: Its a setup for eventual Turnkey Tyranny - sooner or later, a psychopath will grab the reins of power and control of the 3-digit sneaks' databases and we'll all be screwed. It's not a matter of [i]if[/i] but rather [i]when[/i]. This is in addition to the problems of changing values over time, mis or mal-associated data (e.g., book on cancer plus buying a Halloween wig; e.g., duplicate personal names 'John Smith', swatting-type reports from 3-digit or local sneaks ), corrupt databases, clerical errors. An additional point is that the larger and more distributed the database, generally, the more difficult it is to do corrections.

lewis2005
lewis2005

We are dealing with the most lawless government in the history of the United States. Our “fearless” leaders no longer follow the Amendment process and do not even see a necessity for public discourse prior to trampling the Bill of rights! "Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or ill, it teaches the whole people by example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself." Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. - See more at: Like many other areas of American law, the Fourth Amendment finds its roots in English legal doctrine. Sir Edward Coke, in Semayne's case (1604), famously stated: "The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence as for his repose."[2] Semayne's Case acknowledged that the King did not have unbridled authority to intrude on his subjects' dwellings but recognized that government agents were permitted to conduct searches and seizures under certain conditions when their purpose was lawful and a warrant had been obtained.[3] The 1760s saw a growth in the intensity of litigation against state officers, who, using general warrants, conducted raids in search of materials relating to John Wilkes' publications attacking both government policies and the King himself ??? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

carpetking
carpetking

Of my current and previous two employers, going back 20 some odd years, they have all recorded my browsing history on the internet. Also, they have all had security camers. Actually, now I work for a state government agency and there are less in the way of cameras here than there were at my previous two employers. Likewise, my wife and I were at a movie theater and as we were leaving, my wife got a text from Fandango (an app she installed and enabled on her phone) asking us what we thought of the movie. We didn't buy the tickets through Fandango, but I presume by the amount of time we spent at the theater, they have a data mining package that decerned we watched a movie. It was a little un-nerving, but it wasn't government in that particular case. So, my concern isn't so much with Big brother being government, or even business. But if we as a society want more information in order to make better decisions in what we do, then unfortunately, it is the price we must pay.

maj37
maj37

There appears to be quite a bit of paranoia in the author of the article and in several of the comments. However many seem to be making a good case for a little healthy paranoia. Who would have thought that the IRS would target certain groups for extra scrutiny just because they use certain terms in their organization's name. Like some others have said you never know what might be considered a bad thing in the future.

jcovey
jcovey

the collectors and viewers of your private info are all honest and ethical - a seriously naive attitude!

ken.potter
ken.potter

is the same as saying I'm not guilty Not guilty is the response when charged with a crime. What's my crime? Besides, what happened to presumed innocent?

jsargent
jsargent

If someone has nothing to hide then why is someone given notice when they are arrested that "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be taken down and used in evidence against you." If you have nothing to hide then why should it be necessary to read you those rights or for them to exist in the first place?

Sensei Humor
Sensei Humor

...between the cancer book, the wig/hair, and the fact that the government is now in the health care business? Has anyone mentioned the Constitution yet? Amendment IV The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, [b]papers[/b], and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. This is frequently construed as a "right to privacy". Now somehow this "right to privacy" was twisted to allow legal abortion, but the government can demand my "papers" (email) from Google, Yahoo, et. al. without so much as a "by your leave" let alone a warrant? Add in the fact that the NSA, by Google's own admission, has been writing some of the code for Android (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-07-03/security-enhanced-android-nsa-edition#r=nav-fs) and I have to wonder if my movements are being tracked as well. What's wrong with this picture? In the USA, everything.

jsargent
jsargent

The collection of data, use and storage must proportionally protect the human rights of the data subject. That every piece of information that is collected must have a specific purpose and must be known to the data subject. In addition you have the right to know what data is kept about you and contest its accuracy. These three principles destroy the "Nothing to hide" argument. All European countries under the Schengen treaty have the those principles of Data Protection law in their constitutions. Anyone in government who uses the "Nothing to hide" argument is fooling their citizens and cannot be trusted since they already know the damage that violations of these principles can cause and they are well aware of the principles of law.

kci833
kci833

If you have something to hide, "online" would not be the ideal place.

mlkiely
mlkiely

The argument is always about being righteous; unfortunately the precept of innocent until proven guilty is only as valid as your personal defense funds allow you to argue your legal rights. Given rendition and a trillion dollar Homeland budget that no longer seems to have any real borders in the pursuit of supposed terrorists it is readily understood that people can fall through the cracks. Collateral damage is a catch phrase to describe the breach of both Law and Liberty in the pursuit of righteousness or in the case of Canada compliance. My dad setup Norad and the original listening posts for Telecom to monitor your every call fifty six years ago in the decades that have followed the sheer volume that can be tracked is mind boggling and governments now routinely listen to everything except a guy with a barrel and a blanket. Knowing what has happened with key leaders being forcibly removed from life or office it stands to reason that average people really cannot protect their privacy against tyranny within governments. Law enforcement is a noble idea as long as Justice prevails and agencies have public transparency and oversight by the people who elected them. When shadow organizations start running their own agendas then we become A new world order and this is a very unwelcome turn of events. Einstein once stated very wisely that when technologies become so pervasive and readily capture the minds of modern society then the people will become slaves to the corporations that control the media and sway public opinion. People need to remember that we are the government and what we say and do is more important than what corporations expect from us and nothing worth having comes without a fight. Freedom is not given it is taken and requires vigilance on a daily basis, this is why Big Brother has been able to succeed it is our lawmakers and justice systems fulltime day job to take away your freedoms and subjugate our society to their will. My view is they can only take what we allow and if people stand for their rights and refuse to be complacent and lazy then the government has no real power or authority over righteous and Law abiding people. Vote with your wallet and your conscience and quit allowing the least qualified people on this planet to manage our society. Good luck and Keep the Faith it truly is all we are entitled to in this modern world.

retiredSoftwareFlunky
retiredSoftwareFlunky

We all know there is no perfect judicial system simply because there is no perfect judge, jury or set of laws. Think of American citizens released after serving years of jail time, having been cleared by DNA evidence. They were the lucky ones. How many innocent people are still in jail because they can't prove their innocence? How many were legally executed? Now think of an imperfect government having no limits to spying on its citizens, drawing conclusions based on circumstantial evidence and no longer being accountable.

DAS01
DAS01

I am relieved to see so many comments here rejecting the "nothing to hide" argument, because I have seen a lot of support for it in tech forums like this one, in various discussions. The supporters just fail to understand history and the significance of mass data gathering and, above all, analysis, which modern techniques have facilitated. I can only endorse the various point already put forward.

dfigenschou
dfigenschou

Info gathering of personal data on the scale that is happening is frightening, because ALL human beings have agendas with mixed motives. And the powers that be, in government or whatever law-enforcement agencies, are no exception — in fact they exemplify the problem. Often people with particularly strong agendas gravitate into positions of power and influence from where they can implement their agendas. Which special interest group would you trust and like to have gathering all your personal information? Government or the Boy Scouts? Dont know about you, but I would rather have the Boy Scouts. Remember, absolute power corrupts.

culluding-techrepublic
culluding-techrepublic

I don't intend to break the law or do anybody any harm but I can't stand being looked at. I suffer from severe stage fright that is so bad I can't get anything verbal to come out of my mouth when faced with an audience, no matter how hard I have prepared for the speech. I used to live and work around London and Essex, areas where you can see a number of cameras for anywhere you stand, and as a result I never went out of my house unless I had to. I could never relax and enjoy myself and friends used to think I was weird. I didn't grow up in such a 'big brother' society so I also wasn't used to strangers being so interested in my personal and private business. I now live in a quiet little county in Wales where there are only cameras in the areas of high gatherings of drunken youngsters in the evenings, and one of the lowest crime rates in the UK. Even somebody's car mirror being damaged makes the news! There are no speed cameras or traffic monitoring cameras in the county, and drivers aren't penalised the instant they stop on yellow lines (as I experienced in England). People here value their own and each others privacy and the county overall are a much friendlier and happier society than I had been exposed to in the bigger cities of England. It does go to show that cameras aren't the answer to crime. Another odd thing about cameras in the UK is that it is ok to have cameras all over the place watching our every move in the name of crime prevention but try pointing a camera back at a policeman and see what happens. (Many police themselves now have cameras attached to their helmets). The general public are not allowed to have home security cameras that point outside their own property. I would need permission to take a picture of people out in public. I'm not allowed to take pictures of my daughter's sports day at school, nor her first ever disco because cameras are banned from such events. I shall be telling my daughter stories about what she has done as she grows up, and she will be wondering where the photos are. At the moment I am allowed to video her dance shows at dance school but it will only take one paranoid parent to put a stop to that. This isn't democracy, we're being ruled by the minority.

viggenboy
viggenboy

My fear from this is that inevitably, sooner or later someone with genuinely nothing to hide will walk up to immigration on landing at Orlando their happy holiday to Disney, and for reasons they have no idea about and no explanation for find themselves in an interview room being interrogated because once upon a time their predictive text or "talk to text" app decided for them how "the Dessert Bombe which I'm making for the Amish visit" should be spelt. With gozillions of emails being processed and analysed, I can imagine things like this simply being shoved in some gargantuan folder labelled "suspicious- for later review" with several billion others and the senders simply tagged "stop for interrogation".

michael
michael

"Nothing to Hide" is assuming, without making it explicit, that "Government is Good", and that the reason I have nothing to hide is that I have done nothing wrong. BUT...a fundamental presumption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is that we cannot make that assumption. Government is a dangerous servant, a fearful master. Just because I have done nothing wrong should never give me confidence that I will not find myself ill treated by a government. So...before God, who is just and merciful, I have nothing to hide, and indeed, cannot hide anything. But before Government, I prefer that as much as possible will remain hidden, because I have no reason to trust that the Government will be just or merciful. I do have reason to fear that many innocent actions and expressions of mine, if they fall in the wrong hands, may be used against me.

gvtooker
gvtooker

The right to be left alone is a basic human right. The 4th Amendment was created just for that reason and because the authors of the Constitution realized the dangers of unwarranted snooping. Just because I may not be doing anything illegal doesn't mean I necessarily want anybody knowing my business. For example, I may have business or trade secrets I don't necessarily want others to know about. Maybe I don't want the government snooping in on my sexy conversations I have with my wife. Maybe I hold a politically unpopular opinion and fear reprisals. Look at how the IRS was used to target conservative groups during the last election. Maybe it is like following Sandy Hook when the names and addresses of gun permit holders in New York were made public knowledge. Not only does it leave open said permit holders open to harassment, but also puts non-permit holders in greater danger as potential criminals know who has a gun and who doesn't. In the real world people use such knowledge for blackmail and insider knowledge for financial gain all the time. That's not to mention that this constant snooping hasn't done anything to prevent real crime like the Boston Bombing for example. The "Nothing to Hide" argument is a specious one at best.

BryndonB
BryndonB

Privacy is similar to the concept of personal space. I relate to many people, especially at work, but I want to have a say in who gets within about a foot of me. I may put up with it temporarily on crowded public transport but otherwise I find it intrusive when people get too close. Also consider how you'd feel with someone 'handcuffed' to you walking around with you all day and taking notes on what you do. Is there any sane person who'd want that day after day after day...

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Nelson Mandela was defined as a terrorist. If the term had existed at the time, George Washington would have been as well. So would Oliver Cromwell (more justified than either of those two, if you happened to be irish. What about other minority leaders who felt they had to resort to non-legal means to gain the freedom from the ruling majority. You know really scary ones, like say Martin Luther King Jr. As an american you should stay well away from the use of nuclear weapons in order to terrorise people into doing what you want....

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I would also say that history tends to agree with you.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

The only time I expressed my position was to say that I felt "Nothing to Hide" was the wrong thing to call what's happening.

aidemzo_adanac
aidemzo_adanac

Nothing to hide is the same as saying "I don't intend on committing a crime"

jsargent
jsargent

Sorry but we are not going to tell you since it's a state secret. What happened to presumed innocent? Why are you asking? Have you done anything wrong? You can tell us and everything will be alright.

jkameleon
jkameleon

Reason: Transparency. NSA contributed open source code, which can be examined by anyone. It's next to impossible to securely hide a backdoor this way. A backdoor, not hidden securely enough, is a double edged sword, because it can be discovered and exploited by anyone. When before DES encryption standard was developed in the 1970s, NSA changed the original design. These changes caused a lot of suspicion. In the decades that followed, the DES standard was studied and dissected in every way possible. In the 1990s it was finally proven, that the NSA proposed changes actually strengthened the DES encryption. IMHO the NSA contributed Android code is OK.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Imagine a perfect one! Those miscarriages of justice (personally I'd include the ones where the obviously guilty go free, as well) occurred in our governments. The only substantive difference between our government and a totalitarian one is eventually someone in it has to stand up and say oops. Alan Turing. RIP.

aidemzo_adanac
aidemzo_adanac

AN imperfect government? ALL governments are imperfect. That's why, even with CCTV everywhere, there are STILL many limitations to spying on citizens, drawing false conclusions and not being held accountable. I enjoyed your speculative reply though! Fantasy is always so much more fun than facing reality.

aidemzo_adanac
aidemzo_adanac

I'm not implying you do, you have stated you do have anxiety issues with being watched, perhaps insecurity, perhaps increased self awareness whatever it may be, the bottom line is that YOUR issues are not a result of CCTV cameras or their effectiveness in preventing or solving crimes. "no you don't, you are not allowe dot use SURVEILLANCE in public, but pull out your camera or phone and snap away. You'll probably have a few people PO'd but there' sno law against it. With respect to your daughter's school, as such photos have also been shown as a means for child pornographers to prey on victims, kidnappers etc.. Many school, will not want pictures of children circulating, as it then becomes teh school's responsibility, but as far as i know, there has not been any legislation against it. No government has determined you cannot legally photograph your daughter.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

In our desperate efforts as a society to shield paedos from temptation, we effectively defined ourselves as a risk. Well I say we and our, I had nothing to do with it, doubt you did either....

jkameleon
jkameleon

There are tens, hundreds of thousands of pages of of laws, statutes and regulations in force. It's impossible establish even the number of them, let alone know them all: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304319804576389601079728920.html [i]For decades, the task of counting the total number of federal criminal laws has bedeviled lawyers, academics and government officials. "You will have died and resurrected three times," and still be trying to figure out the answer, said Ronald Gainer, a retired Justice Department official. In 1982, while at the Justice Department, Mr. Gainer oversaw what still stands as the most comprehensive attempt to tote up a number. The effort came as part of a long and ultimately failed campaign to persuade Congress to revise the criminal code, which by the 1980s was scattered among 50 titles and 23,000 pages of federal law.[/i] EU is even worse in this regard. With such unfathomable quantity of legislation, breaking the law is inevitable, and prosecution is just a matter of surveillance. "I'm not breaking the law" is therefore not an argument. Everyone of us is unknowingly breaking at least ten laws a minute during the day, and about three a minute while sleeping.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I was taking a picture of a unique bridge that was just completed, and a security guard rushed over to me and told me to stop.

aidemzo_adanac
aidemzo_adanac

IN order to stand a defense against a proposal, you'd have to show how it increases the likeliness of such events. As it is, the no fly list is always screwing up and innocent people are turned away from vacations, returning to their homes etc. False identification and misinformation leads to arrests and even convictions each and every day already. How many THOUSANDS of people sit awaiting execution ion the USA, where so many are falsely accused. How many times has it been proven, after 25+ years in jail that teh convicted was actually innocent. If you have a near perfect system of justioce already, perhaps your concerns would be warranted. As the current system is rife with errors and false information already, how will it become worse by being subjected to greater detail of the data collected? It's paranoid BS, that's all. Ignore today's reality and pretend tomorrows fantasy will be worse. [i]"I can imagine things like this simply being shoved in some gargantuan folder labelled "suspicious- for later review" with several billion others and the senders simply tagged "stop for interrogation"."[/i] No need top imagine, such a system is already in place, TSA.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

The sentiment stayed with my the entire time I spent on the article.

culluding-techrepublic
culluding-techrepublic

Yes, I know the reason for the no photos at school thing but how many pedophiles are you likely to find in a line-up of all the school parents from one school? Probably none but only one, if any at all. In my eyes that is not a good enough reason for the rest of us to not be able to take photos of our children at sports days, etc. I think it's paranoia. My daughter's dance school asks for photos to not be published publicly, and that I totally agree with because some people just don't like to be photographed and have their pictures put in places they have no control over. I still have them for memories though.

jsargent
jsargent

Even though there are thousands of laws most of them boil down to the basic categorizations of the ten commandments and the different combinations of bad behavior that you can use to break them. Of-course no all of the ten commandments are in the law so you might only be talking about knowing 5 or 6 of the ten commandments in order to avoid breaking a law. I don't believe in god but billions of people still do so its logical that most people should have a basic idea of what is legal. The only law that I can think of that are not a subset of the ten commandment categories are insider trading, government corruption and a few business laws that affect mostly corporations who can afford good legal advice to protect themselves.

aidemzo_adanac
aidemzo_adanac

If you decided to stop taking a picture because some $10/hr wannabe said not to, then that is your own lack of judgement. Personally I'd tell him to call a cop or show me a notice, sign, bulletin etc stating photography is prohibited. I had a security guard in Eugene, Oregon tell me not to smoke, when I was outside, not near any public windows or doors etc. I told him top FO and call a cop if he thought that smoking outdoors, in a public place, away from public building entryways was illegal. An hour or so later, nobody had shown up, I finished lunch and went back to work.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Most child abuse occurs within families. Denying that, is one of the reasons, why there's so much of it. So it's more than likely that a significant percentage of those parents you stood with were looking at your daughters and thinking things we cannot. We are not talking seeing a fourteen year old in a gymslip slouch past, we are talking five year olds skipping past. Anyone capable of that, will not draw a line at their own children, never mind yours or mine.

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