If You Don't Care About The NSA Because You 'Haven't Done Anything Wrong,' You're Wrong

from the you-have-done-many-things-wrong dept

Cardinal Richelieu's famous line is:
If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.
It's easy to twist almost anything to be used against you if someone cares enough. And with a legal code that means people are committing, on average, three felonies a day (at least according to one estimate), it can be even worse.

That's worth keeping in mind any time someone writes off the NSA as not being an issue for them because they've "done nothing wrong." Driving home that point is an excellent short "Op-Doc" in the NY Times by filmmaker Brian Knappenberger, which has brief interviews with a bunch of great people (many of whom you'll hopefully recognize) explaining in very clear terms why you should absolutely care about the NSA. There are many reasons discussed, but a simple one, highlighted by David Sirota, goes back to that quote above. You can claim that you've done nothing wrong all you want. However, if someone really powerful decides they want to railroad you, you'd be surprised at how much it can be made to look like you've "done wrong." And when the NSA (or the FBI) can readily access all sorts of data about your life, their ability to build such a story increases tremendously.
The video has people answering a few different questions, beyond just why the "I haven't done anything wrong" mindset is a mistake. It also discusses how corporations tracking individuals is quite different from the government doing so and a variety of other issues. The short film is actually from outtakes that Knappenberger put together from the documentary he's been working on about Aaron Swartz. It just so happened that he's obviously interviewing a ton of people who were familiar with both Aaron's work and the NSA stuff (the Venn diagram of people knowledgeable about both would include quite a lot of overlap), and so he asked some NSA questions, leading to this video. Check it out.

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  1. identicon
    Graham, 29 Nov 2013 @ 4:26pm

    Ghostery found 19 trackers www.techdirt.com

    It's all just data, a series of symbols arranged in such a way as to trigger functions in machines which then output more data. Any organisation, which maintains a posture of being credible in it's authority, thereby gives it's employees and representatives the ability to present any data as genuine and meaningful. Any output data from any machine can be modified by administrators to 'prove' whatever they like... And even if you trust the current government, what about when the next generation of bully-boys get in... Maybe they really don't like what they can actually see you doing, so they change it so you appear to be doing something illegal? Perhaps they have a secret agenda and merely maintain a façade of national interest.... While they are pointing the scope at you, who's pointing one at them? Politicians should be monitored by publicly accessible video feed 24/7/365. They are your paid servants, and have no authority over you. Nor should they ever be granted the right to present any such data as fact.

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