I did a post a while ago about computer privacy, mainly surrounding the use of encryption software.

It got me thinking about privacy in general and how little of it we have. I'm a very private person and I'm constantly taking steps to keep other peoples noses out of my private life. When I say other peoples noses, I'm generally referring to the government.

I'll make it clear now that I am no criminal. I simply don't believe the government have a right to delve into my personal life. As a nation we have accepted invasions of privacy that would have been considered unthinkable as little as forty years ago. We should be resisting these invasions with every fiber of our being but we don't, we just keep bending over. Many people insist that the government are not taking enough of our privacy and freedoms fast enough. They demand tougher laws and ever more draconian solutions to societies perceived problems. These problems are very often minor and certainly not worth handing over ever more freedoms in order to combat. Mostly it's down to the media, whipping up the sheep into a woolly frenzy over some slight. Usually to do with protecting the children or fighting drugs and terrorism.

The majority of people do not desire privacy. They like to huddle together with flocks of other sheep, happy in their obscurity as part of a like minded collective, living under the protective hand of the government.

When someone like you or I decide to leave the flock it scares them. They demand that we be brought back into the fold, that we are punished for our individualism, then they can go back to sleep and stop worrying.

If you read my blog then chances are, privacy from the state is something you feel strongly about. That probably means you have secrets. Secrets can be anything you want to keep to yourself. Anything you believe others do not have a right to know. Secrets are not evil and keeping them does not make you a bad person.

Unfortunately it is harder than ever to keep secrets from the state and it's minions. What privacy do you really have anymore?

Banking privacy? There is none. The government has complete access to your banking records. Bank staff routinely monitor your transactions and report anything suspicious to HMRC. Any transaction over a couple of grand, suspicious or not, is reported. Bank employees face stiff penalties and even jail for not reporting these transactions. As a result, they are falling over themselves to report you. Perversely, the US version is called The Banking secrecyAct.

Computer privacy? Is I stated in the post mentioned earlier, if you have the audacity to try and hide your computer records by encrypting them, you will just be ordered to hand over the key. Don't comply and you will be sent to jail. Use the Internet and soon you ISP will be storing all your movements for the government.

Telephone privacy? Your telephone calls can be monitored without your knowledge through the vast array of modern technology at the governments disposal.
Mobile telephones are not only laughably insecure but they can be used to track your position down to a few metres, even if you are not using them.
If you have a cordless land line, bin it now. They broadcast for up to half a mile and can be easily monitored.

Mail privacy? The government have the "right" to intercept and read your mail at a whim.

Financial privacy? For all intents and purposes, this is illegal. As an employee, your wage details are discloses to the government as a matter of course. If you are self employed, you must pay someone to disclose your earnings for you. Try and hide any of your hard earned money from the government and they will come down on you like you wouldn't believe. It is even extremely difficult to hide money from the state, even after you have paid tax on it.
Why do you think they keep changing the designs on notes? To prevent forgery? Pah! It's to make that huge stack of cash hidden under your bed totally worthless, unless you declare it to the state.

Personal privacy? You hardly have any left. The Police can stop and search you without suspicion. There is a vast army of officials and bureaucrats who can enter your home. They can destroy your property in their search for evidence and they can cart away your crying children. Thousands of spy cameras watch you every move in case you break one of the thousands of victimless laws that make up our legal system.
HMRC can confiscate everything you own without evidence of a crime; mere suspicion of withholding taxes is enough.
You cannot drive a car / boat / plane without a piece of paper from the state. Neither can you sell alcohol, own a gun or leave / enter your own country without first seeking permission.
Debit and credit cards monitor and store your spending history and patterns.
You must be registered at birth where you are given a citizen ID number that tracks you through life. Most of the money you earn is taken with the threat of force and given to those who assume a claim on it.

That last sentence is the key. That's why we are so closely monitored and why the state will allow us as little privacy as possible. Tax. The theft of money from the productive to be given to the feckless.

In our glorious democracy, 51 percent of the people can vote to enslave the other 49 percent. The 49 percent who become slaves are then supposed to get on their knees and thank god that we live in such a benevolent system.

These people though, are the majority. That's why the exercise so much control. They say to the government, we want, nay deserve to have a piece of this for ourselves. The government are only too happy to get it for them because it buys them votes. Votes are what keeps the government in power. To stay in power they need to keep giving free stuff to the voting masses. The only way they can get the free stuff is by looting the providers, If the providers keep the fruits of their labours secret, they can't be stolen by the state. That's why the state will not allow us any privacy.
The bleating masses don't care about privacy. Why would they. they have nothing, therefore they have nothing to hide. They can see though, that if the providers are allowed privacy, their free stuff could disappear. That's why they are happy for the government to keep taking away our freedoms.

There are many ways of keeping your life private from prying eyes. Hopefully I can follow op with some more posts on how to do just that. In the meantime, have a good think about why you desire privacy. Privacy and freedom can not just be an off the shelf opinion; something to be discussed down the pub and then forgotten. It has to be in your blood. You have to totally embrace it with no compromise.

Do you believe the government should be able to take your money to distribute to the needy? Do you believe they should watch you with spy cameras in case a crime is committed? Do you think they should ban you from owning a gun on the off chance that someone gets shot, monitor your Internet in case someone sees some porn, or monitor your telephone calls in case a terrorist is discussing their next atrocity?

If you can answer yes to any of those or similar questions; even if you can agree that it is ok in certain circumstances, privacy and freedom from the state is not for you. You may as well open the book of your life to the government and live with it.

If your answer is always an emphatic no, and you totally understand why you think so then it's time to take you life back from the state.

You are an individual. They do not own you.

""The majority of people do not lead interesting enough lives to have secrets they wish to hide. They genuinely do not desire privacy - they desire protection, rigid rules, strong leaders and the comforting presence of millions of others, just like them. Before you embark on a program of personal privacy, be aware that your actions will be met with suspicion, anger, hostility and force.""

Stuart Goldsmith.


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