My Stance On Privacy

It's not really a shocker to any of my friends that I'm a big privacy advocate. My interest in privacy really started when I first got into fooling around with Linux and discovering all of the amazing ways to combine different types of crypto to make something impossible to read -- when I was first getting into it it felt like I was building a computer version of a pillow fort, something that was special to me and couldn't be broken into by others. The best part about it was that it cost nothing (besides the computer, of course) so I could develop and test out as many little pillow-forts as I wanted, to my heart's content.

As a kid, I also went through my "spy" phase, pretending to go on secret missions to infiltrate some poor neighbor's backyard, writing codes in simple ciphers (not sure if anybody ever used pigpen, but my journal from 4th grade is almost completely full of it). I revelled in being able to write things that only I could understand (or so I thought). I think this has led to my (some would say overzealous) opinions when it comes to my privacy. I like my privacy not because I have anything to hide, but because I just like it. I've liked that from the beginning as part of my childhood hobbies, and for some reason, this makes me an "extremist".

The thing that annoys me the most is that people say to me "well, I have nothing to hide, so I have no reason to be worried." I don't hide anything under my pants when I walk into the airport, but if somebody asks me to walk through security naked I'm probably going to say no. Unless they're cute.I'm not comfortable with exposing personal elements of myself to people that I don't know, and I don't see how this is any different.

The Internet was created to facilitate communication between people. It's unfortunate that its infrastructure turned out to be easily exploitable by an organization with enough resources, and, if anything, it really takes the fun out of security for me. The spy game is impossible to play when the opponent has all of the cards and has loaded all of the dice. Building pillow-forts isn't fun when my big brother, so to speak, can come in anytime he wants, even though he's not allowed. And, like a typical big brother, it's done out of sport, with no reasonable pretext at all (cough, blanket statement: "an immediate, specific, and harmful impact on the national security of the United States").

I mostly just wrote this to rant. And to put myself on another list. Ugh.

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