Grugq has an interesting and thought-provoking post up regarding those who claim they have nothing to hide as a justification for not using secure communications, Tor Browser, or other types of digital tradecraft.

The statement “I’ve nothing to hide” is a clear and simple statement of privilege. It says that one is currently totally in line with existing culture power structures, that one is not a minority, or marginalized, or being sought by security forces. Privileged individuals who have no fear of persecution by cultural power structures are usually content to conduct their affairs in the open. These people have a moral obligation to use their privilege to help those who’re marginalized and in the minority, use secure services, encryption and so on to provide cover traffic for the rest.

He’s not talking about privilege in the same way as your garden-variety social justice warrior. The average person who has “no fear of persecution by cultural power structures”…is that you? Are you “totally in line” with the current status quo? If you call yourself a patriot or a partisan, then you aren’t–which means you do, in fact, have something to hide.

If you are in line with what’s going on, if you’re of the absolute belief that you have nothing to hide, that everything you do is just fine with the government, then you have a moral obligation to use that position to help the rest. You of all people should be providing cover, using the means available to help those who are being persecuted and targeted.

Next time you post the coordinates of your training exercise, the call signs of your members, the list of your group’s frequencies, next time you discuss sensitive information on Facebook and claim that you have nothing to hide…think about the above statement. If you have nothing to hide and you truly believe that, great. Then use your fantastic, clean, target-free position to help. Don’t screw over everyone else.

One last thing: If your “nothing to hide” mantra is really just camouflaging the fact that you don’t know how to change and don’t understand how to be more secure, then learn. There are ways–one of which is to attend a Cryptoparty in your area (we will host another one this summer in Western WA), a Groundrod Primer class, or even just start reading on your own. There is no excuse.

Clef two-factor authentication