Why I don’t care about my civil liberties

I have nothing to fear should a government wish to spy on me.  I have no skeletons that would risk bringing shame on me should they be liberated from the proverbial closet.

In an age where we share the most private of our events on such public platforms, why are some of us so incensed when we hear that government continues to seek powers that would enable them to access our web history and communications records?

As an avid devourer of Social Media; and one who is always only a ‘pass me my phone’ away from total connectivity, there can be little of me that is not already available for public consumption.

I hold no extremist views (although I have wished certain ill wills on football referees in my past), harbour no fetishes that would be deemed worthy of investigation, and I’m fairly content that I have sufficient protection (both IT and intellect) to prevent me from becoming another fraud statistic.

So, why in the name of *insert apt name pertinent to your faith (or just a cuss if you’re an atheist)* should the thought of MI5 or MI6 gathering meta data on my communications give me any cause for concern?  I hold no truck with conspiracy theorists, but am comfortable with the fact that ‘they’ can listen in to conversations from space, and hack my email accounts at will.

What would they find?  Reminders from my wife to transfer funds over internet banking, another ‘hottie’ who has seen my pictures online and would love to *insert choice phrase* – just call this number – or an email from one of my sons asking me to print out some homework from the office!

Don’t waste the time of the police, government, media, and ‘them’ by protesting about protecting my civil liberties – I don’t want them protecting.

If it’s a choice between underpaid civil servants having to trawl through the mundane aspects of a middle-aged white man’s life at will – and preventing more vile atrocities against innocents by the deluded miscreants that purport to do so in the name of misguided faith….I’ll make a copy and send it to whoever wishes it.

Take my ‘civil liberties’ for I have nothing to hide and care not.  For the misguided antagonists who seek to protect mine – I ask that you channel your energies elsewhere.  Hate the government and everything it stands for?  Maybe sign up to Anonymous and protect my REAL freedom – the freedom to love, freedom to choose, freedom to vote, freedom to coexist in harmony…and the freedom to write whatever we wish.

Strange isn’t it?  As a nation we may recoil at the thought of the government accessing private data – yet feel a sense of ‘go get ‘em’ when ‘ethical hackers’ vow to do the same.  I for one certainly hope they complete what they set out to do against Daesh and wish them all the luck in the world.

Real freedom is what I enjoy – for me, the government can have whatever data of mine they wish.  I give it gladly in the name of freedom.


The argument, Matt, that if you have done nothing wrong than you have nothing to fear from investigation is a seductive one but, in my opinion, it is spurious. I argue against mass surveillance for a couple of practical reasons and one moral one. My practical reasons are, first, paradoxically, because mass surveillance is impractical. Surveillance that isn’t targeted simply overwhelms those with responsibility for sorting the wheat from the chaff. As Stella Rimington is quoted as saying, intelligence agencies “can’t sort out from it what they need to know and what they don’t need to know”. Secondly, and like you Matt I am no conspiracy theorist, but my faith in the government’s ability to keep all my personal information in one place is pretty low. While the information is private and dispersed, it is much more difficult to gain access to for nefarious reasons than if it is in all one place, tagged with my name. However, even if these practical problems could be solved, I don’t think anybody should have access to private information without a reason. Just because I have nothing to hide, that is no reason for you to be able to look.

Matt Osborne March 29, 2016

A sound argument, Dan. However – we are talking about the government compiling meta data only. The ability to monitor the data in its entirety does not yet exist; only through the use of intelligent and well-developed algorithms; which may reveal patterns for further analysis (if required). I have no issue with that as I am confident that I have nothing to hide. If it’s a choice between my communications being monitored via meta data analysis, and the further loss of innocent lives…I know which I will choose. Great to debate with you though – thank you for engaging.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *