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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Don't Be Afraid If You've Got Nothing To Hide

There is criticism over increased State surveillance. The Statist retort is "Don't be afraid if you have nothing to hide."

However, State insiders get very hostile, when you want information on what they're doing.

It's OK for police to videotape you. The policeman can then decide to disclose or not disclose the videotape, depending on whether it makes the victim look bad or not. (Police cameras always "mysteriously malfunction" when it might make them look bad.) If you try to videotape an on-duty policeman, he may kidnap you or destroy your camera. Via a creative interpretation of wiretapping laws, people are then prosecuted for videotaping police.

One criminal defense lawyer said there's an interesting quirk in the US legal system. Suppose you accuse the police of misbehaving. If the police file criminal charges against you, then your complaint against the police is automatically ruled invalid. That seems bizarre, but that's the way it works. As part of any plea-bargain, the police may demand you drop your claim against them. Therefore, if you have a valid claim against the police, then the police will be eager to charge you with a crime to silence your claim.

This law should be clarified. An on-duty policeman should have no expectation of privacy. It should never be illegal to videotape an on-duty policeman. An honest policeman should not be afraid, if someone videotapes him while working.

State insiders collect a ton on information on their slaves. By itself, collecting information is not evil. The problem is that the State police/justice monopoly will tend to use that information for evil purposes.

Suppose there were surveillance cameras on every corner. That information could be used to solve real crimes, like robberies. Unfortunately, in the present, that information will be abused.

The police might decide "FSK has undesirable political views. We'll prosecute all his friends and associates. We'll prosecute everyone who reads his blog." Under those circumstances, a surveillance camera on every corner could be used to identify and kidnap all of my friends and business partners.

Unfortunately, the State tends to abuse such information more than beneficially using it. By itself, information is not evil. The problem is that the State monopoly abuses that information. Many innocent behaviors are falsely classified as crimes.

Police and insiders can't be trusted, to not abuse information they collect. Therefore, they should be barred from collecting information. By itself, information is not evil. Unfortunately, the State monopoly abuses information far more often than properly using it.

This story was interesting. Rick Perry said the Federal Reserve should fully open its books. If you believe "Don't be afraid if you've got nothing to hide.", then the Federal Reserve should open its books. The Federal Reserve refuses full disclosure, because people would be outraged if they knew the truth.

(I'm more inclined to believe "Rick Perry is criticizing the Federal Reserve, to attract some of Ron Paul's support and anti-Federal Reserve sentiment. Rick Perry has no intention to reform or eliminate the Federal Reserve." However, it's still progress, to see prominent politicians criticizing the Federal Reserve.)

(There were some disclosures recently, regarding $1T+ of bailout loans. There's an important footnote not emphasized. The Federal Reserve has only disclosed *SOME* of its "emergency lending". The Federal Reserve has successfully resisted 100% full disclosure. The stuff you heard about is only part of the total secret bailout package.)

Via the ironically-named "Bank Secrecy Act", State insiders have the power to spy on every single bank transaction. Whenever you use a State-licensed bank, you should assume that the transaction is being reported to the IRS and FBI. State insiders literally have full financial information on everyone. However, if you want to know what the Federal Reserve is doing, that's an important secret that can't be disclosed. That's an obvious double standard.

As another example, the SEC refuses to publish details for naked short selling. Following "If you're innocent you have nothing to hide!", the SEC should publish a full naked short selling list. They should publish the stock, bank, and number of shares for *EVERY* failure to deliver. By refusing to do this, the SEC is protecting financial criminals.

This is a very common pattern. When State insiders want to spy on you, they say "If you're innocent you have nothing to hide!" When people demand information from State insiders, there's always excuses and refusal. Insiders don't have to follow the same rules as the slaves.

This is a very important point. By itself, information is not evil. The problem is that State insiders cannot risk the temptation to use information for evil. Similarly, State insiders always block the disclosure of information that might make them look bad. State insiders have a default policy of blocking disclosure on everything, even innocent-seeming activities.

When State insiders want to spy on you, they get all your records. When you want to get information on State insiders, there's always denial and excuses and loopholes. It's a clearcut double standard.

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