Civil libertarians have been warning for a while about the massive amounts of data the U.S. government has been collecting on its citizens. Past performance has long shown that the government will misuse the information it gathers.
The continuing retort from those in favor of government surveillance is "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear." This requires a level of trust in the government that many of us do not have but if you believe that the government will always work on your behalf, perhaps it's enough.
However, do you trust your data to everyone? Allegedly, all of the Wikileaks data, hundreds of thousands of classified documents and communications were acquired by one Army Intelligence PFC and then given to Wikileaks. Althought these documents were only classified "Secret" they did contain sensitive information and the government is treating this as a major security breach.
What classification level do you think your information is at? Secret? Top Secret? Do you think the government is protecting your information more carefully than they are protecting their own?
If you think you have nothing you want to keep private, would you answer some questions for me? Just post your answers in the comments section since there's no reason to worry about your privacy.
- What's your social security number?
- How much money do you make every year?
- Please list your credit card numbers, expiration dates and security codes from the back of your credit cards.
- What are your bank account numbers? Please list any PIN's for those accounts.
- When was the last time you had sex? Who was the last person you had sex with?
- Do you look at pornography (don't lie, we know the real answer)? What kind do you like?
- What are the names of your children and where do they go to school?
- Does your company have any new products coming out? What are the details on those products?
- Do you have any medical conditions? What medications are you taking?
Even if you don't think the government will use the information to harass or prosecute you, there are many things that we need to keep private from other people to avoid being victimized or just because it's nobody else's business. It's bad enough that corporations are keeping this kind of data but they usually don't have all of your information in one place and you can sue them if they expose it. The government is creating a one-stop shopping database where all of your private information can be retrieved. The Wikileaks debacle clearly shows that classified, supposedly secure systems simply are not. What makes you think they will keep your private data private?