Thursday, June 13, 2013

PRISM: Why You Should Care, Even If You Have ‘Nothing To Hide’


Unless you’ve been residing under a proverbial rock, you know that it was recently revealed that the government has been pretty much going through everything we post on the Internet, and the reaction has been…pretty much only news media really giving a sh*t. Americans, it turns out, are pretty OK with the government riffling through their stuff in the name of safety. The common refrain is “I’ve got nothing to hide!”
And, no, most of us don’t have anything to hide. In fact, the vast majority of us will never do anything the government cares about. But that’s not why you should care about your privacy. 

First of all, let’s do away with this idea that privacy is something only criminals want. In fact, it’s fairly easy to prove that everybody wants their privacy. Everybody’s got a limit. Some people will be happy to post naked pictures to Facebook, but would rather not discuss their medical history there. Some people would happily scan their pay stubs every week and post them on Twitter, but would rather not discuss their personal sexual quirks with the general public.

And, in every single situation we’re citing here, it was the individual who made the choice to give up that aspect of their privacy, or chose, for personal reasons, to keep that private. In fact, that’s likely the reason there’s not more outrage about this: “The government is collecting my selfies from Facebook? OK…so?” You don’t get to decide, with PRISM. Anything you put out there, regardless of who you put it out there for, can be read.

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