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Why is wiretapping bad?

bossyburrito
Posts: 14,075
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11/1/2012 7:10:50 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I never understood why it's such a big deal. If you have nothing to hide, why do you want to hide stuff? What is the Gov gonna do with recordings of you wishing your mum happy birthday?
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
blameworthy
Posts: 431
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11/1/2012 7:15:02 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/1/2012 7:10:50 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
I never understood why it's such a big deal. If you have nothing to hide, why do you want to hide stuff? What is the Gov gonna do with recordings of you wishing your mum happy birthday?

1. The agents conducting the wiretapping are not trustworthy individuals, and they can obtain information that can be used as leverage against you or that can be used to steal your identity. Some people schedule hospital visits and provide medical information over the phone, make bill payments, etc.

2. Suppose you are calling your girlfriend. Do you want some government dolt listening to your conversation? Some things are private for a reason.
blameworthy
Posts: 431
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11/1/2012 7:15:51 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Wiretapping can also be abused to limit political discourse and can be a means of political repression.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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11/1/2012 8:12:08 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/1/2012 7:10:50 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
I never understood why it's such a big deal. If you have nothing to hide, why do you want to hide stuff? What is the Gov gonna do with recordings of you wishing your mum happy birthday?

Because the protections didn't arise in a vaccuum. The protections arose because, historically, government officials have turned out to be *gasp* human, and therefore, are just as prone to dishonesty and corruption as anyone else.

Consider the protections of the Bill of Rights, namely:
Unreasonable search and seizeure;
Due Process;
Double Jeopardy;
Self-Incrimination;
Notified of Charges;
Confrontation of Witnesses;
Defense Witnesses and Counsel;
Excessive Bail;
Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

We didn't just put those things in there for the lulz; we put them in there because the really wasn't a hesitation made by governments to do those things in the absence of those protections. And even their existence really doesn't guarantee that they aren't violated, it just increases the cost/penalty to the government when they do violate them, making them think twice.

I think the issues can be better explained through this video:

It's long, but worth it.
Basically, it addreses, and demolishes, the mindset that: "If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear."
lewis20
Posts: 5,093
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11/1/2012 9:01:33 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Exactly, the president should have free reign to listen in to all political opponents conversations. Watergate was no big deal, as long as the dems had nothing to hide...
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
lewis20
Posts: 5,093
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11/1/2012 9:07:41 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Shoot by that logic two way tvs with big brother watching you doesn't sound that bad does it? 1984 wouldn't be that bad a place of you have nothing to hide.
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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11/1/2012 9:28:41 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
1) Wiretapping is used to get your information, post yourself publicly on the internet, and done so for ridicule and idiotic reasons.
2) It completely negates all freedom of privacy.
3) If you have enough evidence to warrant wiretapping, you have enough to warrant arrest. If you don't have enough evidence so you need to wiretap, you can justify wiretapping of any individual.
4) Wiretapped information is excessively inefficient. Imagine going through dozens of people's phone calls every day to see if there is any sensitive information. It is a waste of time and resources which can be spent more efficiently.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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11/1/2012 10:10:59 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I tend to stay away from specifics, to avoid subjectivity. Wire-tapping is bad because the ends cannot justify the means; spying and other immoral behavior does not magically lead to a safe, happy society. It leads to the opposite. There is no example, in the history of the world, where acting selfishly leads to an increase in aggregate happiness. If the world did work this way, then the elections tomorrow wouldn't be such a big deal...
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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11/1/2012 10:45:51 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/1/2012 7:10:50 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
I never understood why it's such a big deal. If you have nothing to hide, why do you want to hide stuff? What is the Gov gonna do with recordings of you wishing your mum happy birthday?

If you got nothing to hide, go move to North Korea, let Kim Jong Un talk to you through the government speaker in your house everyday.

If you got nothing to hide, just go ahead and let the TSA grab your genitals, stick their hand in your rectum, you have no explosives in there right? Nothing to hide.

Let the police come and search your house and tear it up, you got nothing to hide right?
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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11/1/2012 10:50:25 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/1/2012 10:45:51 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 11/1/2012 7:10:50 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
I never understood why it's such a big deal. If you have nothing to hide, why do you want to hide stuff? What is the Gov gonna do with recordings of you wishing your mum happy birthday?

If you got nothing to hide, go move to North Korea, let Kim Jong Un talk to you through the government speaker in your house everyday.

If you got nothing to hide, just go ahead and let the TSA grab your genitals, stick their hand in your rectum, you have no explosives in there right? Nothing to hide.

Holy sh1t grab your things we are going to the airport! Seconds please!

Let the police come and search your house and tear it up, you got nothing to hide right?
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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11/1/2012 11:05:29 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/1/2012 7:10:50 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
I never understood why it's such a big deal. If you have nothing to hide, why do you want to hide stuff? What is the Gov gonna do with recordings of you wishing your mum happy birthday?

The argument that "only the guilty need worry about tyranny" is pretty bad... But some people who have not realized certain things don't understand it so let me attempt to enlighten you here.

Let's say that you have a secret. Maybe you have something particularly embarrassing about yourself that you don't wish others to know. It's hard for others to protect your right to that secret because, by its nature, we don't know about it and unless we have broad rules to protect your privacy, we might expose you inadvertently. Let's use a real-world example to drive my point home. The Major League Baseball MVP last year was Ryan Braun. Mr. Braun has genital herpes. How do I know that? Because his privacy was violated pretty badly by those wishing to ensure that he *might* be popping steroids. Because players might possibly dope up, and also because potential employees might potentially use substances recreationally that their employers wish to control them from using, we are, in this country, routinely subjected to biological screenings of our bodily fluids. In some professions this can be humiliating by design, requiring visual confirmation of your penis or vagina while urinating so that you don't cheat the system.

So Mr. Braun had a secret that he had every right to keep (I suppose you could say that as long as you aren't having sex with him, and because our privacy laws are built around the whole "you have nothing to hide if you aren't breaking our rules" philosophy, his plight becomes a tragedy of our inability to protect our citizens.

We believe that the ends justify the means in this country all too often. Let's stop terrorism by violating the privacy of our citizens. Ironically, it is policies like this that cause the terrorists in the first place.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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11/1/2012 11:07:07 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/1/2012 7:10:50 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
I never understood why it's such a big deal. If you have nothing to hide, why do you want to hide stuff? What is the Gov gonna do with recordings of you wishing your mum happy birthday?

because some of us like breaking laws.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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11/1/2012 11:10:35 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/1/2012 10:50:25 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
If you got nothing to hide, just go ahead and let the TSA grab your genitals, stick their hand in your rectum, you have no explosives in there right? Nothing to hide.

Holy sh1t grab your things we are going to the airport! Seconds please!
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
blameworthy
Posts: 431
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11/1/2012 11:12:46 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Bossyburrito is most likely a government agent or a TSA agent. He likes grabbing peoples' genitals to ensure that they have nothing to hide.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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11/1/2012 12:50:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/1/2012 11:12:46 AM, blameworthy wrote:
Bossyburrito is most likely a government agent or a TSA agent. He likes grabbing peoples' genitals to ensure that they have nothing to hide.

I'm surprised he/she is an Anarchist. How can bossy support surveillance state?
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
slo1
Posts: 4,342
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11/1/2012 2:04:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/1/2012 7:10:50 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
I never understood why it's such a big deal. If you have nothing to hide, why do you want to hide stuff? What is the Gov gonna do with recordings of you wishing your mum happy birthday?

When the gov has no expectations to honor your individual rights, you then trust them to get it right when defining what is right or wrong.

Think of the party that is in direct opposition for what you stand for. Once you cede power to them to listen to your private phone calls, are you sure you will not have something to hide?

Ukraine is going off the deep end. Something like 10% of the legislative branch just elected are neo-fascists. You can't discount radicals getting power in the US one day.

All I have to say is that you better hope that one day it is not illegal to wish mum happy birthday over the phone. There are more than one group out there that does not believe in birthdays.
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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11/1/2012 2:12:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Would it be bad if I evesdropped into your personal life? Can I set up cameras in your home and listen to your private conversations? If you wouldn't like that, then there's no reason you should want anyone from the government doing it to you. Secondly, it's a slippery slope. First that, then all of a sudden they're breaking into your house while you're at work collecting body oil an urine samples without your consent or knowledge. (Look up "Stasi" if you think I'm being melodramatic).
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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11/2/2012 3:31:54 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/1/2012 7:10:50 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
I never understood why it's such a big deal. If you have nothing to hide, why do you want to hide stuff? What is the Gov gonna do with recordings of you wishing your mum happy birthday?

First, there is a distinction between wiretaps and warrentless wiretaps. I don't think people that have nothing to hide are wholly opposed to wiretaps obtained through a warrant (i.e. probable cause was shown and a specific crime is suspected).

Second, with so many laws, how do people know if they have something to hide? Did you claim that profit from a scalped ticket (which is legal in MN) as income? Are you smoking in your home where you conduct business?

Third, it is the principle. If government is only eavesdropping to gather leads on crimes, why not take it to its logical conclusion: a video camera in every room in every house, on every corner, and in every business. This way no crime would go unsolved. But, this is too far, but casually listening in on conversations with no direct purpose is not to some.

Fourth, there is the risk. If government can listen in on whatever juicy gossip I have, what is to stop them from disclosing that? What is to stop hackers or leaks from getting this information?
My work here is, finally, done.
bossyburrito
Posts: 14,075
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11/2/2012 4:25:41 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/2/2012 3:31:54 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 11/1/2012 7:10:50 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
I never understood why it's such a big deal. If you have nothing to hide, why do you want to hide stuff? What is the Gov gonna do with recordings of you wishing your mum happy birthday?

First, there is a distinction between wiretaps and warrentless wiretaps. I don't think people that have nothing to hide are wholly opposed to wiretaps obtained through a warrant (i.e. probable cause was shown and a specific crime is suspected).

Second, with so many laws, how do people know if they have something to hide? Did you claim that profit from a scalped ticket (which is legal in MN) as income? Are you smoking in your home where you conduct business?

Third, it is the principle. If government is only eavesdropping to gather leads on crimes, why not take it to its logical conclusion: a video camera in every room in every house, on every corner, and in every business. This way no crime would go unsolved. But, this is too far, but casually listening in on conversations with no direct purpose is not to some.
I wouldn't mind that.
Fourth, there is the risk. If government can listen in on whatever juicy gossip I have, what is to stop them from disclosing that? What is to stop hackers or leaks from getting this information?

This is where it goes too far for me.
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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11/2/2012 4:32:10 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/2/2012 4:25:41 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 11/2/2012 3:31:54 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 11/1/2012 7:10:50 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
I never understood why it's such a big deal. If you have nothing to hide, why do you want to hide stuff? What is the Gov gonna do with recordings of you wishing your mum happy birthday?

First, there is a distinction between wiretaps and warrentless wiretaps. I don't think people that have nothing to hide are wholly opposed to wiretaps obtained through a warrant (i.e. probable cause was shown and a specific crime is suspected).

Second, with so many laws, how do people know if they have something to hide? Did you claim that profit from a scalped ticket (which is legal in MN) as income? Are you smoking in your home where you conduct business?

Third, it is the principle. If government is only eavesdropping to gather leads on crimes, why not take it to its logical conclusion: a video camera in every room in every house, on every corner, and in every business. This way no crime would go unsolved. But, this is too far, but casually listening in on conversations with no direct purpose is not to some.
I wouldn't mind that.
At least you are consistent in your logic, then.
Fourth, there is the risk. If government can listen in on whatever juicy gossip I have, what is to stop them from disclosing that? What is to stop hackers or leaks from getting this information?

This is where it goes too far for me.
My work here is, finally, done.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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11/2/2012 11:22:00 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
If government is only eavesdropping to gather leads on crimes, why not take it to its logical conclusion: a video camera in every room in every house, on every corner, and in every business.
That raises trespassing, a more important barrel of fish than privacy.

That said, if the government promises privacy, it should keep that promise even if keeping gov't in the dark is not ethically mandatory in and of itself.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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11/2/2012 11:50:18 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/2/2012 11:22:00 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
If government is only eavesdropping to gather leads on crimes, why not take it to its logical conclusion: a video camera in every room in every house, on every corner, and in every business.
That raises trespassing, a more important barrel of fish than privacy.

That said, if the government promises privacy, it should keep that promise even if keeping gov't in the dark is not ethically mandatory in and of itself.

Why is a video camera trespassing, but not a wiretap?
Neither involve a person being there.

Besides, if you have nothing to hide, then you should consent to both, as the video camera will catch any burglar or vandal or worse; this was the point of the analogy.
My work here is, finally, done.