When people say, “You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide,” ask them if it’s fine to install cameras in their homes, not just in the living room but the bedroom and bathroom. Ask them if they’d mind wearing a microphone and video camera every day, so others can check on what they’ve said and done.
You are guilty of something. I guarantee it. Lawmakers have created countless new crimes and punishments, and allowed law enforcement to extend old laws in dangerous ways. Have you ever told anything short of the absolute truth when filling out an online form to use some service? We can charge you with a felony for that. And, by the way, we don’t need to convict you at trial. If you are a target, we can ruin you financially if you try to defend yourself. This is what we expect in banana republics and police states, not here. And as the surveillance state expands, it will create more targets among people like you.
Our political leaders have made a calculation in recent years. They believe you are too frightened, too cowardly, to face the truth – and that you think liberty is much less important than temporary safety.
We are human. Terrorism unleashes our deepest fears, and our most lethal fury, even though the risk for any one of us is vanishingly low. We must challenge the fear mongers, and ourselves.