50 comments

  • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago

    "When you say, ‘I have nothing to hide,’ you’re saying, ‘I don’t care about this right.’"

    No, Edward. I'm saying that I have nothing to hide, literally. Stop applying your skewed values on me. Having nothing to hide doesn't equate to not valuing rights. You're not the freedom fighter or Robin Hood of the modern age you think you are.

    10 points
    • Simon O’SheaSimon O’Shea, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

      We could discuss Goebbels or Orwell, but I think this article from 2011 discusses it well…

      When the nothing-to-hide argument is unpacked, and its underlying assumptions examined and challenged, we can see how it shifts the debate to its terms, then draws power from its unfair advantage. The nothing-to-hide argument speaks to some problems but not to others. It represents a singular and narrow way of conceiving of privacy, and it wins by excluding consideration of the other problems often raised with government security measures. When engaged directly, the nothing-to-hide argument can ensnare, for it forces the debate to focus on its narrow understanding of privacy. But when confronted with the plurality of privacy problems implicated by government data collection and use beyond surveillance and disclosure, the nothing-to-hide argument, in the end, has nothing to say.

      Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have Nothing to Hide

      Also, it was not until 2007 that US officials could open snail mail without warrant:

      Law enforcement officials need warrants to open the mail, although President George W. Bush asserted in a signing statement in 2007 that the federal government had the authority to open mail without warrants in emergencies or in foreign intelligence cases.

      U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement

      35 points
    • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

      "When you say, ‘I have nothing to hide,’ you’re saying, ‘I don’t care about this right.’"

      No, Edward. I'm saying that I have nothing to hide, literally.

      I think you may need to expand your world view, to see how dangerous your opinion is for yourself, and others.

      (That wasn’t a swing at any company or service, just that these rights need to be defended.)

      17 points
      • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago

        Or...we need to realise that differing opinions doesn't mean I lack an expanded world view. I've lived in many countries, and I value my rights as a citizen. But I still have nothing to hide. Not according to Edward Snowden's definition, but by my own.

        0 points
        • Harry FuecksHarry Fuecks, almost 5 years ago

          Sorry to do this to you but you keep saying you have nothing to hide so I'm going to test that.

          Your name pretty unique so very Google-able (as is mine) and in your public Google+ profile you're busy comparing a Muslum women's headscarf to a swastika - https://plus.google.com/102411988267766541496/posts/FbLqsHXYMne ( screenshot ).

          IMO that's a pretty extreme worldview you have right there and makes me ask why I should be listening to you.

          12 points
          • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago

            My opinion on the oppression of women in many muslim states is neither illegal nor something I would ever attempt to hide, so you can continue testing all you like.

            Besides, my opinions on religious and political symbols (and how they interconnect and divide people) are hardly extreme.

            My guess is that you see the word "muslim" and immediately draw the wrong conclusions.

            To clarify: my comment is not about islam, it's about someone wearing a symbol of oppression whilst defending the oppression itself. It's like an african-american speaking about the horrors of slavery whilst wearing a confederate flag t-shirt, or a vegan debating why animals are sacred whilst wearing leather boots.

            Hypocrisy is everywhere.

            1 point
            • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 5 years ago

              My opinion on the oppression of women in many muslim states is neither illegal nor something I would ever attempt to hide

              What’s legal and illegal shifts, depending on the country you’re in. I think views far more tame than that have resulted in people being locked up for life, or murdered.

              0 points
              • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago

                I go by the law I'm under, which, in my case, is British law. If we should respect all laws in the world regardless of where we currently are, what happens to gay people? Stoned to death. What happens to women's rights? Gone. Do you adhere to the speed limits of other countries when you're driving down the road?

                0 points
                • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 5 years ago

                  My point was more about future governments you live under, if you travel, or to help others. The only constant is change, right?

                  0 points
                  • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago

                    Well...

                    1. I wouldn't travel to countries where there is no freedom of opinion.

                    2. We, the people, have the power to change future governments. Partly by help from people like Edward Snowden.

                    3. How would an opinion on oppression within religious symbols hinder my ability to help others?

                    0 points
                    • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 5 years ago
                      1. You might be shocked to learn what powers your government and GCHQ have. Laws have changed recently in Australia to allow pretty much anything to happen to anyone, under the guise of protection against terrorism. That is precisely Snowden’s point. I wouldn’t feel cushy about the situation in the UK. Things can change, and they can change quite quickly.

                      2. I agree, but as important as your vote is, it’s a very blunt and delayed tool. Snowden’s flavour of accountability seems very healthy to me. I hope there’s a lot more of it in the future.

                      3. My point was that people fortunate enough to live in countries where it’s ok to express your opinion openly can help others by championing the need for privacy (a good example of this is Apple’s recent encryption efforts). This is a global issue. We all benefit from peace and accountability. Even on a local level in a stable democracy, there’s benefits from having strong privacy laws in place.

                      You may not care, but I think you should.

                      0 points
                      • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago
                        1. Let's not start with the conspiracy theories.

                        2. Snowden's flavour of accountability is dangerous. This time it rhymed well with the interests of the general public, but what happens when the next NSA employee decides the information at his disposal should be revealed, although this time his allegiances lie with terrorist organisations. Snowden is already a questionable case as he's openly working "with" (for) Russia.

                        3. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as global peace, it will never happen. And the reason is simply that not enough people are interested in it.

                        0 points
                        • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 5 years ago
                          1. It’s not a conspiracy theory. Documents detailing abuse of power and the information have been released.

                          2. Yeah, let’s talk about crazy conspiracy theories and hypothetical scenarios.

                          3. It’s not only possible, but the likely outcome (given a long enough view): War And Violence On The Decline In Modern Times

                          0 points
                          • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago
                            1. Governments abusing their power is one thing, removing freedom of opinion is another. I'm not worried. I know what it's like being brought up in a country dangerously close to not having freedom of opinion, you don't.

                            2. He's currently working "with" Russia to develop anti-spy technology. It's neither conspiracy nor an opinion. And that's just the first step. Like it or not, your idol is a Russian pawn. He is protected by them, he works "with" them and will continue working "with" them.

                            3. It's not only unlikely, but impossible. World peace is unachievable as long as there are people on the planet who don't want it. All it takes is a tiny minority to keep war going. We'll never get rid of those people.

                            0 points
                            • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 5 years ago

                              Ok.

                              I’m not here to argue, so I’ll take this opportunity to stop commenting on the thread. It seems pretty clear we have very different views on the topic (which is ok!).

                              0 points
    • Randy HRandy H, almost 5 years ago

      This isn't about you specifically. This is about everyone. There are people out there who have very legitimate reasons for wanting their privacy. There are people who fear for their lives and their freedom. I am not speaking of only issues related to the NSA, but of privacy in general. Backdoors and vulnerabilities create exploits for all to take advantage of --not just the NSA. People deserve a right to privacy whether they use it or not. By dismissing these breaches of privacy with the "I have nothing to hide" rebuttal, it is insinuated (intentionally or not) that nobody should have anything to hide. For that reason, I think it is a dangerous rebuttal to use.

      Everyone should have the right to free speech. Speaking ones mind, being of the "wrong" religion/school of thought/sexual orientation/political opinion can lead to persecution, serious penalties, and sometimes death in some places. Private communication allows for people to practice that free speech.

      11 points
    • Matt ClarkMatt Clark, almost 5 years ago

      Glenn Greenwald just spoke at TED about this very argument.

      It’s a fantastic talk.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pcSlowAhvUk

      9 points
      • Harry FuecksHarry Fuecks, almost 5 years ago

        +1000. It really is an excellent talk. For example from the transcript on the TED website ...

        The other really destructive and, I think, even more insidious lesson that comes from accepting "I have nothing to hide, so nothing to fear" is there's an implicit bargain that people who accept this have accepted: If you're willing to render yourself sufficiently harmless, sufficiently unthreatening to those who wield political power, then and only then can you be free of the dangers of surveillance. It's only those who are dissidents, who challenge power, who have something to worry about. There are all kinds of reasons why we should want to avoid that lesson as well. You may be a person who, right now, doesn't want to engage in that behavior, but at some point in the future you might. Even if you're somebody who decides that you never want to, the fact that there are other people who are willing to and able to resist and be adversarial to those in power — dissidents and journalists and activists and a whole range of others — is something that brings us all collective good that we should want to preserve.

        4 points
    • Andy MerskinAndy Merskin, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

      What happens when the things/beliefs you value and didn't need to hide become the things you must hide in order to survive or live peacefully within a nation?

      That's where the problem lies, when these programs' ability to reach begin to reach too far into what most see as innocent, but some see as threatening.

      6 points
    • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

      Privacy isn't just about having "nothing to hide." Privacy is about having every communication you have will only be known to the person it was intended for, whether online or offline. If I want to share a humorous and somewhat embarrassing personal story to a close friend, privacy means that only the friend will know about it, not my mom, not the police, not the government looking for any illegal things that may have occurred (if any.)

      5 points
    • A P, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

      Snowden exposed the lengths of which the NSA was willing to go. Predecessors have tried to follow the "right channel"... only to end up walked in by their superiors. The recent HOPE conference in NYC has former government agents speaking about their trials of going through the right channels and up the chain of command only to be denied and ridiculed.

      0 points
      • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago

        You misunderstand me.

        Edward Snowden did the right thing. If the government are exploiting its citizens, they should be exposed.

        He did the right thing, but let's not idolise Edward Snowden. He is not a freedom fighter. Not a genius. Not a poet. Not a brilliant revolutionary. He is a Russian puppet.

        0 points
        • Tim GauthierTim Gauthier, almost 5 years ago

          I'd be interested in proof of that, however your statements in this thread seem to undermine your credibility.

          A very famous German pastor wrote a very important poem about his experience during the second war. Just because I do not have something to hide, or a need for privacy doesn't mean I should not be standing up and saying something. In fact because I have nothing to hide means I have the responsiblity to to stand up and say something. I can't be so easily targeted and smeared if I really do not have anything to hide. I have the ability to speak loudly and clearly of the opression to others when I have nothing to hide.

          Why exactly does having nothing to hide mean there is no need to protect the freedom at hand? I would say that this man was not a hero, but he definitely did something that took a lot of guts to do. He is to be respected as someone who speaks out because he DOES have more knowledge then us about the topic at hand. He claims to have seen abuse of the highest order, so when he says you need to worry even if you don't have anything to hide, he means he has seen them hurt people who had nothing to hide (speculation).

          the quote for those who want to see it. I feel it applies for privacy as much as Womens rights or any other injustice.

          First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

          1 point
          • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago

            I'm sorry that a different opinion than your own causes you to mistrust people in general.

            In terms of proof, there is none. But don't let your idolising of Edward Snowden blind you to the facts: he could have gone to Sweden, Switzerland, or any other neutral country valuing human rights. He chose Russia, of all places.

            Again, he did the right thing (apart from the fact that he put a lot of lives at risk), but admire the action and not the man. The man is nothing, the action is everything.

            1 point
            • Tim GauthierTim Gauthier, almost 5 years ago

              actually i suspect his path may have been more severely restricted then you imagine. He was flying out of Hong Kong, direct flights from there often don't land in places that would have allowed him to continue flying. In fact he was going to south america, and was unable to continue because his flight landed in Russia. A place so terrible that even the american law enforcement could not sneak in and steal him out.

              The problem with Sweden or Switzerland is they have things to lose if the americans squeeze them, Russia prides itself on not having anything to lose if the americans turn on them. He would have known this if he had the information he claims to have had.

              or maybe he's a shill for Putin, but the good he has done is still far greater then the harm so far. I have not seen any proof of his allegiance other then circumstantial evidence.

              My disagreement with you is unimportant however, you claim to know why i mistrust, or that i even do mistrust people, but you don't know me so you can't make that claim either.

              Lets say you have a friend network of 150 people across 3 networks, twitter, facebook, and google+. You have friends, people you happen to know, and people who you follow simply because you find them interesting. You message some of them, and sometimes you share videos or links. Now you have 150 people who follow you on those networks for the same types of reasons. Lets say you decide to travel to a city in another country to visit someone you know, hang out, eat food and have a nice time. You arrive at the airport and you go through extra screening. You go through this extra screening because you liked a video comparing headscarves and fascist movements. Do you agree with everything said in the video? no that doesn't matter you passed the video on, your in the list and watched. Now you decide to go out and you message people on facebook and twitter saying you're going out and they can meet you. Someone who follows you looks at your message, types a reply, erases it and then does nothing. That reply was going to ask you if you knew about a far right rally, and if you wanted to join. You never knew this but the intelligence community does. They now label you as someone who is in that political spectrum as "confirmed", and likely to join a rally. Now that rally gets rounded up because of some violence. Now everyone tagged to that rally is under suspicion as well. You didnt because you had nothing to do with it.

              You fly home, you go hand out at your local bar, you got extra searched at the airport again, maybe it was your haircut, you don't have a clue why or that it is even targeted or happening. You go hang out at your local bar, someone gets beat up nearby. They happen to be muslim, the police are looking for suspects, your name shows up. They look through your information, decide it wasn't likely you, move on. Someone else gets beat up near your bar, you hear about it, you post on Facebook something like "man this sucks people keep getting beat up near my favourite bar". Something as simple as that, could end up having you brought in and charged. Not because you did anything wrong, but because they connected the dots they wanted to connect and suspect you may be behind this situation. You likely don't get charged (or the charges get dropped) and you go home, but now every-time something like that happens near where you live you get looked at closer by law enforcement.

              Thats the world we already actually live in. I'm not saying or implying who you are or what your social standing, ideologies or political leanings are. What I am saying is that who you are online can get picked apart, and the people you know online are also being picked apart, and then they can apply and make up patterns on this to decide hey this person needs to be brought in, because there is a chance that they could possibly do this thing.

              0 points
              • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago

                "or maybe he's a shill for Putin, but the good he has done is still far greater then the harm so far"

                That's what I'm saying. Admire his actions - which were largely good - not the man who is allied to questionable dictators.

                0 points
                • Tim GauthierTim Gauthier, almost 5 years ago

                  again you are assuming he has, but we have no proof that he has.

                  0 points
                  • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago

                    Edward Snowden being in cahoots with a dictator is not an assumption, it's fact. Russia (i.e Putin) is protecting him. Whether or not that was the plan all along can be discussed (although common sense should win that argument).

                    0 points
                    • Tim GauthierTim Gauthier, almost 5 years ago

                      I don't think you understand how the situation is functioning. He is not in cahoots with Putin, he simply is exploiting the fact that Russia has nothing to lose to go against the USA to keep himself from being extradited to the united states. This does not implicit a relationship between the person seeking asylum and the person providing the asylum.

                      0 points
                      • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago

                        Haven't you learned anything from these leaks? Governments and people in power are often corrupt. This includes Putin, and it includes Edward Snowden. Just because he did a good deed doesn't make him a flawless saint. He has ulterior motives just like the people he's exposing. Give up this dream about Edward Snowden being some pure angel of freedom.

                        0 points
    • Franta HejlFranta Hejl, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

      Glad to know you have nothing to hide. What's your salary, employer and street address?

      0 points
      • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago

        You seem confused. I'm not advocating all information being public. I'm saying I'm not participating in illegal activities, so if the government wants to poke around in my emails (they don't) or look at my web history (they don't) I have nothing in there that would get me in trouble.

        0 points
        • Tim GauthierTim Gauthier, almost 5 years ago

          yes but thats the difference, THEY believe that they should be party to all of that information. So that THEY can use it for whatever means they deem applicable at the time. The limited and secret oversight does not help keep anyone accountable, and therefore someone could easily spread this information for personal purposes.

          1 point
          • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago

            Who are "they"? The government? The reptile illuminati? They don't care about your emails. They have done illegal things, but let's not drift too far into conspiracy territory.

            0 points
  • Wojtek Wojtek , almost 5 years ago

    So ironic of him to use Google Hangouts for that interview.

    3 points
  • Abhishek SureshAbhishek Suresh, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

    To me, Edwards statement is similar to "Don't go to the coffee shop down the street because there is a cctv camera around in the corner. Make your own coffee at home" Now why would I worry about it? I am well clothed, I don't have any dark intentions, I am not carrying anything illegal, I just want to sit in a cafe and bask in the sun. Why make me feel unnecessarily paranoid about that? Whether you like it or not, people are going to be monitored. Considering the increased rate of inhumane activities and the abuse of freedom, being monitored seems to be a safer option to me.


    Also, Edward Snowden also said not to use iOS. But did techcrunch put that in their (click-bait) headline? No.

    Techcrunch's biased journalism and click bait-y news is making me lose respect for them.

    3 points
    • Lucas BebberLucas Bebber, almost 5 years ago

      It's not similar in many ways, among them in that a coffee shop is a public place, not a private communication/file storage/search/whatever tool. You don't need to have any "dark intentions" to not want to be monitored in such cases.

      0 points
  • Nic TrentNic Trent, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

    Anyone who blindly trusts the government with their personal information is uneducated and/or ignorant.

    Current events and history both show that the American government will use unlawful, non-democratic means for their own political agendas.

    One current example of this is the "IRS targeting controversy" where the IRS did not not allow tax exempt status to conservative political groups... Basically, American people could not exercise their freedom of speech in an organized and effective manner because a government power didn't agree with their ideas.

    A frightening historical example is the "Red Scare" where people who had ideas or even friends loosely associated with communism were fired and banned from their jobs, especially in Hollywood.

    I bet people in both of these scenarios believed they had nothing to hide. I believe supporting companies who protect privacy and freedom of speech are essential to a future where freedom and democracy exist.

    And what if worse comes to worse and we find ourselves with leaders who are oppressive and tyrannical? With communication and so much of our daily lives being recorded on technological devices, will the people ever be able to organize and change the government?

    The decisions we make today about digital privacy will have a lasting impact on the direction of technology in the future. And perhaps our demand for freedom and privacy in the digital world could even influence countries who are currently dealing with oppressive governments and a lack of digital freedom.

    1 point
  • David DarnesDavid Darnes, almost 5 years ago

    I feel bad for people who spend this much time freaking out about privacy. I mean, I don't freak out about it and I still barely get any free time. Maybe I should set some time aside in my day to "worry that someone is watching me".

    1 point
  • Cristina BlajaCristina Blaja, almost 5 years ago

    I wasn't using them anyway.

    1 point
  • Josué Gutiérrez Valenciano, almost 5 years ago

    Americans... Why the rest of the world have to pay the cost of your shit? If the US Goverment are paranoic enough to listen/watch everything their citizen say/do, it's your problem, but why the rest of the world have to be bother with this? If you are on a digital cold war with Rusia, China, etc. We don't care! But using backdoors to spy on people from other countries that are not on your jurisdiction is lame. YOU ARE NOT THE POLICE OF THE WORLD! I can't stand how americans truly believe everything their goverment says (Irak war, Social Security is a socialism bullshit) but as I said before is your problem. Don't mess up with other countries.

    1 point
    • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago

      There are 300 million Americans, I doubt even 0.001% agrees with what the NSA are doing. Let's calm down with the generalisation.

      0 points