That Clears Things Right Up

How come people say “If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide” to everybody but Caesar?

  • Dave G.

    My rather tech-savvy 9th grader said it best. We should be focused on the spying, because that’s our government. But we shouldn’t ignore the problems with the growing hack/dump approach to fighting it.

    • Barfly_Kokhba

      The only way the so-called hack/dump approach is “fighting it” is by making the public aware that it is even occurring. How would we focus on the spying if we didn’t know it was happening?

      And Snowden neither “hacked” nor “dumped” anything. He made copies of information that proves crimes against US citizens are being committed by the US government. And he has been releasing the information incrementally in a controlled manner, not “dumping” it anywhere.

      By releasing the information incrementally he has given the government several opportunities to address the issue in a public, transparent manner. Instead the government has chosen to repeatedly lie to the American people, with the lies then being proven by further releases of information. Snowden has proved himself to have both more integrity and more shrewdness than the average “20-something hacker” that he was characterized as by Obama.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    The best way I’ve ever heard for handling online data privacy, was in The Cuckoo’s Egg by Cliff Stoll. Back at the end of the Cold War, in the Reagan Era, he caught two East German hackers trying to break into UC Berkeley by carefully calculating that he needed them to download 4 MB of information over a 1200 baud modem to trace the call; he then invented 4 MB of grade-A bullshit and put it in a directory called SDINet on the mainframe. When they downloaded it, he was able to trace the call.

    Misinformation is the best way to protect information.

  • TMLutas

    Fixing this is my day job. This is what I do ( ) as a startup venture. But you have to learn to lift your head before you crawl and to crawl before you walk.

    We do not even have the basic prerequisites down of identifying who is Caesar, what does he do, and how to have the most basic conversation with him in order to correct his behavior.

    Caesar is a conglomerate of over 89,000 entities that collectively spend more than $6T every year across a wide variety of general and special purposes, some of which are dependent on others for their money, others which run their own show within their competence.

    The control feedbacks of the people overseeing and managing this conglomerate is at a minimum 20 years out of date, at best. There are publicly available data sets/data streams that just sit there, largely unanalyzed and underutilized. In fact by the federal government alone, there are well over 200,000 of these data collections. Interactive interfaces to do some analysis with the sets number under 400, almost three orders of magnitude less.

    It’s no surprise that our government is getting out of control. It doesn’t have to be that way.

    • Dillon T. McCameron

      More of a Leviathan, then?

      • Rebecca Fuentes

        I was thinking hydra.

    • Irenist

      Good luck with your very worthy startup, Mr. Lutas!

      • TMLutas

        Thank you.

  • enness

    Yeah, that phrase makes me a bit stabby. I guess it hasn’t occurred to some people that if you really haven’t done anything wrong, they can always manufacture something.