Tag Archive for NSA

We all have something to hide and we all have something to fear

Following revelations that GCHQ has been obtaining covert intelligence data from the US National Security Agency (NSA) to circumvent legal restrictions on their activities, William Hague has moved to reassure us that law abiding citizens have “nothing to fear”.

A welcome reassurance from Comrade Hague.  I can’t help but think that he’s not the first politician to use that phrase though.  Which other prolific collectors and keepers of intelligence about their citizens said much the same thing?

The East German secret police, known as the Stasi, used extensive surveillance of citizens to find their victims who had nothing to fear

The Nazis used their comprehensive records and ID cards to target Jews, disabled people and any other group that had nothing to fear

The Khmer Rouge regime’s secret police, Santebal, murdered 20,000 Cambodians who had nothing to fear

The Romanian secret police, the Securitate, was one of the world’s most brutal secret police and was responsible for the persecution and murder of millions of people who had nothing to fear

If you have nothing to hide then you haven’t been living your life properly.  The state needs to know the bare minimum about its citizens to be able to provide essential services and anything else they want to know they can ask for so you can tell them to bugger off.

If you trust the current government not to abuse its ability to spy on its citizens (although god knows why you would) then how do you know you will trust the next government?  Or the one after that?  It wasn’t that long ago that the British government tried to give itself the power to lock up any citizen for three months without charge on suspicion of terrorism, the legal definition of which is so loose as to allow a lawful protest to be classed as an act of terrorism.

Wee Willy Vague can say what he like but we all have something to hide and we all have something to fear.