There are at least forty million Americans with secrets. This article will show how violation of the forty million's privacy (monitoring, metadata collection) by NSA, hackers, phone companies, Facebook, Google affects hundreds of millions of Americans directly and ALL Americans, indirectly.
A hacker group has hacked AshleyMadison.com the premier website for people who want to cheat on their spouse, according to KrebsOnSecurity, which claims that the site is visited by 37 million users. KrebsOnSecurity says "The still-unfolding leak could be quite damaging to some 37 million users of the hookup service, whose slogan is 'Life is short. Have an affair.'"
In May, CNN reported that millions of "members" of Adult Friend Finder also had their information hacked. They start the article saying,
" More than 3.5 million people's sexual preferences, fetishes and secrets have been exposed after dating site Adult FriendFinder was hacked."
The two hacks add up to close to forty million people-- many of them actively engaged in cheating on their spouses.
The numbers just start there. Let's say someone-- an NSA agent, Jack, a member of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, a phone company geek who hacks into meta-data records-- finds out Joe is on a cheating site.
But Jack's not interested in Joe. He's interested in Joe's brother Bill, who's running a government regulatory agency. Jack threatens to ruin Joe's marriage, tells him Joe will lose custody and visitation privileges to see his kids if he doesn't drop an investigation of a corporation, or an executive.
Doing the numbers, we add, for each cheater, siblings, spouses, friends, children-- we can even assume they are all good, kind people, who might succumb to the kinds of threats Jack makes. So, let's go with 1.5 siblings, 1 spouse, 2 children, three friends-- 7.5 people for each of the 40 million cheaters. That rounds out to about 300 million people at risk.
Many of those people might be among those who say they have no reason to worry about their privacy. They don't have secrets to protect. And that's true. Now the USA has about 330 million population. My numbers leave out 30 million. But there are millions of people who are either in jail or have been in jail, or who have been prosecuted. Say four million. Multiply by 7.5 and you get over 30 million.
Privacy is important even if you have no secrets and nothing to hide. You are part of a network of relationships. Everyone is. You are vulnerable to the threat which the effects of violation of privacy portends for people who hold secrets that could be damaging.
If you care about someone, no matter how unblemished your personal story is, you are vulnerable, because of your connections to others.
There's another argument. Recently, I wrote a short article, Snowden's Brilliant Answer to Those Who Say They Don't Need Privacy Right Because They Have Nothing To Hide, which cited his remark,
"People who say they don't care about privacy because they have got nothing to hide have not thought too deeply about these issues. What they are really saying is I do not care about this right. When you say I don't care about the right to privacy because I have nothing to hide, that is no different than saying I don't care about freedom of speech because I have nothing to say or freedom of the press because I have nothing to write."
What do you think? I think that people who think they don't need privacy are being naive.