How "Nothing To Hide" Leads To "Nowhere To Hide" – Why Privacy Matters In An Age Of Tech Totalitarianism

Tyler Durden's picture

Via The Daily Bell,

Would you allow a government official into your bedroom on your honeymoon? Or let your mother-in-law hear and record every conversation that takes place in your home or car – especially disagreements with your husband or wife? Would you let a stranger sit in on your children’s playdates so that he could better understand how to entice them with candy or a doll?

Guess what? If you bring your phone with you everywhere, or engage with a whole-house robo helper such as Alexa or Echo or Siri or Google, you’re opening up every aspect of your life to government officials, snooping (possibly criminal) hackers, and advertisers targeting you, your spouse and your children.

The following is not a screed against technology. But it is a plea to consider what we’re giving up when we hand over privacy, wholesale, to people whom we can neither see nor hear... people whose motives we cannot fathom.

The widened lanes of communication, and the conveniences that Smart Phones, wireless communities, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have fomented are indeed helpful to some extent. They allow, for example, for remote working, which allows people to spend more time with their families and less time commuting. In areas such as the energy business, the field of predictive analytics, born of Big Data and the Industrial Internet, helps mitigate the danger of sending humans to oil rigs at sea. 

And on a personal level, of course, the conveniences are innumerable: Grandparents living far away can “see” their grandchildren more often than they could in years past, thanks to technology such as FaceTime and Skype.

People save money: As you walk by a restaurant, a lunch coupon suddenly appears on your phone.

And they can save time: Someday soon, the Internet of Things might tell your coffee maker and alarm clock to go off before its normal time, because bad weather is coming and your son’s school bus will arrive 15 minutes early to avoid the fog.

But there’s a corollary we must think about. (Two corollaries, actually, one being the long-term effects of Electromagnetic Fields on our health, and especially on our brains. But so far, few studies have been funded to examine this.)

We must acknowledge that we’re gaining all this convenience at the expense of our privacy.

When you ask Siri or Echo or Alexa or Google (and others of their ilk) something, it’s great to get an immediate answer… but the corollary is that Siri and Echo and Alexa and Google are listening to every conversation you’re having with your spouse, every fight you’re having with your kids, and every bit of heavy breathing that might be taking place in the dark.

That response inherently grants legitimacy to the search in the first place. The implication is that if you have nothing to “hide,” then the tech companies, the advertisers, the government, etc. should indeed have full access to every aspect of your life. 

Note that the word in the phrase is “hide” and not “protect”, thereby implying that all that is not shared with any intrusive party must be something nefarious, something you’re trying to keep from those who have a right to it.

And if you think about it, “nothing” is the wrong word, too: Forgive the vulgarity here, but would you use the toilet in front of your mother-in-law? Would you allow an IRS official into your bedroom at night? Or to move into your home and record every conversation that takes place? Would you open your private diary to your spouse’s ex or to your children? Clearly, there are some things we do indeed wish to keep private.

In other words, if it’s OK to want to protect the privacy of one’s genitals or one’s private thoughts, why is it wrong to want to protect one’s conversations or whereabouts?

Totalitarianism and Tech – Caveat Emptor

Privacy is the first thing that a totalitarian state attempts to destroy.

Ask anyone who lived behind the Berlin Wall or in Stalinist Russia. If you know what parents are teaching their children, you can intervene and destroy the family, a primary goal of totalitarianism. If you know someone’s secrets or vulnerabilities, you can manipulate him. Knowledge truly is power, especially if you are a big state wanting to control people.

As a child, I was a huge fan of figure skating, and in particular of the great, then-East German champion Katarina Witt. In an interview a few years ago, she revealed her shock that the Stasi collected thousands of records of all her comings and goings and private conversations. The spies even noted when she had been intimate with her boyfriend. When the government knows all, no one is immune, and everyone can be controlled.

And just think, they were documenting Miss Witt’s activities and conversations by hand, back in the 1970s and ‘80s. Now, nearly every single aspect of our lives is being recorded in real time. Every email, every text, every phone conversation. Every time you allow your phone to know where you are, your whereabouts are noted. Soon, that Internet of Things — IoT — which already connects 50 billion “things” through an internet of its own, will be coming to your refrigerator, your dishwasher, your coffeemaker. Happy Alexa and GE “smart fridge” commercials are airing as we speak.

And not only are we letting all of this happen, we’re welcoming it. Twenty years ago, it was Miss Witt’s friends who recorded her personal conversations, and strangers who spied on her. But as she has noted, these days, we give a lot of our privacy away of our own free will. If someone were parked outside your house, surveilling you day and night, it would be unnerving, no? But we’re fine keeping our phones on us 24/7, and telling Facebook personal details about ourselves.

We do this because of the convenience, which will be increasing in scope as quickly as do the various surveillance mechanisms. Will it be convenient when your fridge tells your phone that you’re running low on orange juice (as the bottle will have a sensor, too)? Perhaps.

But will it be convenient when that same fridge tells your health insurance company that you’ve got ice cream in the freezer? And when your rates go up because of it?

Worse – will it be convenient when that fridge listens to your kitchen conversations and tells the government that you’ll be organizing a political discussion group on Tuesday? Or when it tells that bizarre man you went on one date with, who hacked your system, that your daughter has a recital this Friday night?

This is not a conspiracy theory. This is an extrapolation of what happens when people who crave power gain access to vast amounts of personal information.

The more you tell Facebook, or Siri, or Google, or FourSquare, or your phone, or your washing machine, then the more of your own personal power and privacy you’re giving up. (And the more photos you post of your young children, the more of their power you’re relinquishing. So, parents — stop. Now.) 

Bottom line: Once the state (or a company) knows your weaknesses, they can exploit them. They can go after you in myriad ways. And I don’t just mean to “punish” you… I mean to manipulate you.

If a politician has access to your personal proclivities, then he can easily craft, via Artificial Intelligence, a targeted campaign that caters to exactly what the data tell him you want to hear. In the future, he could even warp news stories, video and even audio in real time to appeal to you for gain.

If a potential employer is considering you for a job, then she can (already) access every YouTube video you’ve ever watched, every public post you’ve ever made, and, soon, everything else you’ve put online. In the future, she might be able to access everything you’ve ever said in your home or in your car, or every video of you taken by your television when you think it’s off. 

Those conversations and images will be sold as commodities. “Data” = “money” and “power.” Companies will soon specialize in mining all that personal data; they’ll be paid to flag “inappropriate” conversations, texts or images. Think about it.

A private banker I spoke to in Asia is proud of the fact that his bank is working in concert with FinTech to develop Know Your Customer technology on steroids: It will find every single email, text message, photo, post, and even online search that you’ve ever done so that it can (and this sounds so innocuous) “paint a holistic and predictive picture of client needs.”

That predictive part is critical. Not only do data tell those who hold them where you’ve been, but AI and Big Data analysis can predict where you’re going (both physically and psychologically)… and here’s the really scary part… before you know it.

That gives the data holders real powers of manipulation. The winners of a battle are nearly always the ones with the advanced information, the ones who can launch the surprise attack.

Technology can lead to convenience, but it can also lead to abuses of power. In its extreme, that is called totalitarianism.

In the end, we must take precautions if we’re to have anything close to liberty. Some of you have, no doubt, read Jonah Goldberg’s excellent book from 2007, Liberal Fascism, the hardcover of which features a smiley face graphic with a Hitler mustache. In the introduction, Mr. Goldberg quotes a segment from a Bill Maher show in which George Carlin says, in essence, (and I’m paraphrasing) that “when fascism comes to America it will be wearing a smiley face.”

I’d go a step further — it will be cloaked in an emoji seemingly innocuous, friendly, and ubiquitous.

We must stop giving away our privacy. We must start thinking about personal “data” as the commodity that it already is, and even as a weapon that can be used against us.

If we don’t stop and reconsider what we’re giving away, not only will there be nothing to hide, but nowhere to hide.


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Yen Cross's picture

 ZIRP has pretty much stripped savers bare assed naked?'s picture

Forget about privacy.

Have more bread and circus. 

Well, less bread but definitely more circus:

VIDEO: President Trump Jumps into Fire Engine Parked Outside White House

DJ Happy Ending's picture

"the long-term effects of Electromagnetic Fields on our health, and especially on our brains. But so far, few studies have been funded to examine this.)"


This has been studied extensively for over 100 years.

Arnold's picture

My Brain Tumor made me forget that.

rado_watching's picture

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

Horseless Headsman's picture

I make $6 per week trolling ZH users part time! You can too!

PTR's picture

The 5G network, I hear, is supposed to be a REAL party.

VWAndy's picture

 As bad as all the spying is its the other dirty tricks they are using thats most scary. Think about it.

Oh regional Indian's picture

The spying works in concert with all the other dirty tricks is the thing to ponder.

It is the panopticon that is feeding the Club Of Rome simulation post 1971. Look at every macro and significant micro evet that had earth shaking implications and you can see that they were either systemic shocks (Off the Gold Standard, Oil Shock, Vlocker Interest rate shocks, Munich Olympic Mossad operation, Iran Hostage Crisis, S&L along with all the machinations in mainstream music, art....the fall that is, shick everything) or apparent gifts like th einternet, 2000 Silicon boom, free-ish homes for all.


Some or the other version of the above have played out in all countries over the decades since 1971 and the amplitude of the shocks have been ramped up, now nearing 11 or so.

How much more will the global sheep take to slaughter before there is an uprising? 

How much Soma should we pump into the populace (ref. the Opioid crisis and th eglobal drug crisis as an example), how much monitoring will the sheep self-embrace?


These are the kinds of questions that keep the controllers awake.

Dollar, Yen, Gold, Oil, BUttcoin, transgenderism, transhumanism..... these are all mere levers. Mobile telephony, given to the much poorer east was merely to amp up the information flow into the simulation. Likewise with the west and Siri, Echo and all the smart bullshite.

My take is that most of th eworld is mostly gone, over the endge so to speak. They are too sick, too programmed, too tired, too drugged or some lethal combination thereof to care anymore.

THEY have managed to give the entire globe a case of PTSD, so that people have no fight OR flight left in them anymore. They, we just sit back and take it. The DHS fondling, the fast disappearing freedoms...all of it....

There is only one solution, KNOW THEY SELF. HEAL THEY SELF....

The matrix drops off like a skin whose time has come to be sloughed....

GunnerySgtHartman's picture

This is why I refuse to have:

- social media accounts

- so-called "smart" appliances, which are a total joke from a security standpoint.  Besides, I never did understand the "need" to monitor your water heater, water softener, or fridge over a smartphone anyway

- "personal assistants" such as Alexa

- I don't even have Wi-Fi in my house ... I wired the whole thing for gigabit Ethernet.

Some will call me a Luddite, but I don't care!

jimmy c korn's picture

The Smart Phone: keeps a log of your calls and record of all your text. Know where you are and where you've been. Can predict where you will go before you do! Can watch you when you don't know it and hear every word you say.

They're Smart Phones alright made for Dumb People!

GRDguy's picture

For the most part, people have simply given away any defense of their mind, body and soul.

They really can't comprehend sociopaths that would take advantage of them;

but that do so every day. 


HRClinton's picture

When they go Hi (tech), you go Look (tech). Or No Tech.

They hate that, because they lack bandwidth and resources for non-tech activities. 

navy62802's picture

Cameras and microphones everywhere is the goal. The shit is out of control, and no one seems to care. In fact, you are considered weird if you reject the notion that you should carry a position locating, microphoned video capable device on you at all times. How mind-fucked do people have to be to think this way?

HRH Feant2's picture

I served in the former West Germany and was banned from traveling to East Germany without prior authorization. I had no idea what was going on at the time. A few years ago I happened to watch an older movie, "The Lives of Others." Scary fucking shit.

The day this site, and similar sites, go dark is the day I know shit just went live.

Ms No's picture

These control freaks are going to panick when we get a decent solar flare, or something else that takes out all of their cameras.  They must be really afraid.

khnum's picture

with social media YOU are the product being sold

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

Whose hiding? Death to the pedophile elite and their censors and propagandists.

AlbertthePudding's picture

There is a push from old Europe EU elites and associated pedos to upload radical Islam complete with selected Sharia apps as the religion of choice for a proposed Islamic Europe. Fortunately they will all rot out from disease before that happens but neverless it is thwe the goal for many including elements of the Anglo American intelligence agencies. The Jesuit Pope has enthusiastically endorsed such ideas.

Now think about it. You combine this Western created 9th Century theocracy crap tested in Saudi and eleswhere with the ultimate in NSA surveillance supported by the the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Google Facebook Twitter and Alphabet - and you have total control adminstered thru Sharia police and monitored through the most sophisticated surveillance yet. Its not for Islamic fundamentalists however but for the patriots rising up and protesting this outrage from a real bunch a criminals!


Remember that the ME was largely secular with the exception of the Dark Ages folks in Saudi until about 40 years ago when one by one  the secular countries began to be destroyed so that this outrage could be perpetrated upon a credulous of Europe. Rise up Euroman and do an Attila the Hun on these Venetians and Romans.

akrainer's picture

Privacy of ordinary people is not the worst danger of surveillance state. It's the deep state's ability to monitor and blackmail highly ranked bureaucrats, public servants, judges, army officers, generals, etc...

rtb61's picture

The most dangerous part of all this data collection, the lies. The digital data becomes the only accepted truth, yet by its very nature is can be created, altered and of course deleted. So they know where you are when you need an alibi and are on your own, opps, that record got deleted which now makes you a suspect with no alibi and the computer should produce one but it didn't so you must be guilty.

A simple edit of a text file, can swap your details with someone else, can add bind evidence to you falsely, can be used to fabricate a trail, especially when they can delete contrary data. It is extremely dangerous, basically handing over total political control to tech companies can alter any record, create any evidence and delete any inconvenient truth.

Serbian Hero of Europe's picture

Well said.

An example is the Czech president Milos Zeman, who used only one computer for news browsing until he noticed some strange things happening. He turned it off and called the data technicians for the inspection. what they found was a collection of young nudes and attempts to contact servers somewhere from Alabama. Since than he doesn't use the computer at all.

Sam.Spade's picture

You can't cover this subject in a blog post, either how serious it is for your freedom or how best to fight to protect it.

So I suggest you get your hands on a copy of Thieves Emporium.

The book's a primer on where this fight is going and how you can protect yourself while it goes on.  It's technically accurate and (dare I even say it) 'educational', but it's delivered in the form af a fast-paced novel to keep you interested all the way to the appendices in the back.

Because, one day, you will have only two choices:  Accept new-age data serfdom or become anonymous in everything you do, say, earn, and spend.  And, unfortunately, because The Deep State doesn't want you to take the last route to freedom, doing so will also make you a criminal.

The editors of The Daily Bell (yes, the same Daily Bell that wrote this article) thought it was so good they ran it as a serial which you can still read for free at

Or you can just buy a copy at Amazon (rated 4.6 in 122 reviews), Smashwords (same rating, fewer reviews), Nook (ditto), or iBooks.

However you get a copy, you need to start reading it now.  Because, if you don't, thanks to technologies like your cell phone, your children will end their days living in the most totalitarian tyranny the world has ever known.

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

Chapter 13 of the Daily Bell version cannot be viewed.

Sam.Spade's picture

Yes, The Daily Bell was sold then and the new owners stopped running the serial.

But you can buy a copy at Amazon.

Or, if you really can't afford the $3.99, write me at and I'll see if we can work something out.

Serbian Hero of Europe's picture

The whole point of this issue is NOT that "I don't anything to hide" but "The Goverment has anything to hide".

If the goverment has nothing to hide than it is OK for me to have controll. But that is not true - therefore to fight against the democracy, the total privacy and the total secrecy is needed.

Sanity Bear's picture

"... but would you use the toilet in front of your mother-in-law?"

With glee.

Grinning and staring her right in the eye with every wipe.

cherry picker's picture

One simple way around it is not use the stuff that is spying.

Get a metal box to stick your cell phone in when you arent using it.

Those toys people 'need' to help around the house are just that toys.  Throw them out.

Without power, something to see or hear, these things are worthless.

DonGenaro's picture

"Once you have stripped the forest bare in pursuit of the devil, where will you hide when the devil turns on you ?
I give the devil the right and protection of the law - not for his sake, but for mine."
Sir Thomas Moore ("A Man for All Seasons")

Dwarsligger's picture

I'm so glad this article was written and posted. Yes, I believe that dictatorship lurks around the corner if it isn't here to some degree already, judging by the various police state tactics being employed on civilians. Also, the

A lot of this technology goes on behind the scenes. In Europe, INDECT collects data and bundles it into profiles of every citizen and visitor.

The question that comes up is: who will use these data and with which agenda?

Disruption Through Social Media

Sam.Spade's picture

Allow me to answer your question with a quote:

"With enough data, my lawyers can always find a crime. They'll prosecute. Bury anyone under legal motions, make his life miserable. Maybe even send him up for some felony."

"Even if he didn't do anything?"

"Of course he did something. We got 100,000 laws on the books, twice that in regs. Somewhere, sometime, by accident or intentionally, he broke one. We get a moving x-ray of his life, all we have to do is find it."

knowledge is power.  If they have it and you don't, they own you.

The subject is well covered in Thieves Emporium, which is where the quote comes from.  See my other post in this thread if you want to start reading a free copy.

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

Noahide results in Nowhere to Hide governments.