My father is a retired police officer. Which, let’s start out, doesn’t qualify me as any kind of expert on law enforcement. We’re not playing that game. However, it does mean that I heard more than once the following ideology (paraphrased, because it took a lot of forms, and I can’t promise the veracity of a direct quote): you don’t lock your doors to keep the criminals out. You lock your doors to keep out the honest people.
That’s always stuck with me. Folks can bust in just about anywhere, to get just about anything, if they’re bound and determined to do so. But a reasonable set of obstacles will stop quite a few people from bothering. It’s kind of a compromise with nihilism, I suppose, which may be why I enjoy it1. And with all this NSA eavesdropping nonsense, it’s found itself a new purpose.
I hear a lot of folks just sort of shrugging, admitting the inevitability of data mining both corporate and governmental. If you want to be able to function in ye not so olde Internet Age, you can’t pick and choose your way out of the mining. I get that. And in that case, they’re going to get it anyway, so why bother worrying about it, right?
For the same reason I still lock my doors. Are the unscrupulous going to remain unscrupulous? Of course they are. Are they likely to try to scam what they want from you no matter what? Yes. But that doesn’t mean you have to make it easy for them. You can try to hold a foot or two to the fire. Especially when those feet belong to your government.
Privacy is a massive push and pull, especially in the ever-expanding overshare that is the Internet. But if no one pushes back … let’s just say I’d very much rather read Aldous Huxley and Ray Bradbury and Margaret Atwood than play a part in one of their novels. Which is why I enjoyed The NSA Video
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go visit my Twitter feed…
1. Here I picture Nihilism, locked in a room with his cousins Practicality and Optimism, and told they’ll none of them be getting out until they stop squabbling so much. Which Nihilism says is just fine with him, until he’s heard Optimism’s effusive praise of the decor and Practicality’s plan for setting up a self-sufficient society in the room and a trade agreement with the kitchen, at which point he falls to the floor and begs for mercy. ↩