Pourquoi, pourquoi pas ?

Citation (pas de moi, mais ça aurait pu, du moins en partie) :

If you haven’t done anything wrong, what do you have to hide?”

Ever heard that one? I work in information security, so I have heard it more than my fair share. I’ve always hated that reasoning, because I am a little bit paranoid by nature, something which serves me very well in my profession. So my standard response to people who have asked that question near me has been “because I’m paranoid.” But that doesn’t usually help, since most people who would ask that question see paranoia as a bad thing to begin with. So for a long time I’ve been trying to come up with a valid, reasoned, and intelligent answer which shoots the holes in the flawed logic that need to be there.

And someone unknowingly provided me with just that answer today. In a conversation about hunting, somebody posted this about prey animals and hunters:

Yeah! Hunters don’t kill the innocent animals - they look for
the shifty-eyed ones that are probably the criminal element of their species!”

but in a brilliant (and very funny) retort, someone else said:

If they’re not guilty, why are they running?”

Suddenly it made sense, that nagging thing in the back of my head. The logical reason why a reasonable dose of paranoia is healthy. Because it’s one thing to be afraid of the TRUTH. People who commit murder or otherwise deprive others of their Natural Rights are afraid of the TRUTH, because it is the light of TRUTH that will help bring them to justice.

But it’s another thing entirely to be afraid of hunters. And all too often, the hunters are the ones proclaiming to be looking for TRUTH. But they are more concerned with removing any obstactles to finding the TRUTH, even when that means bulldozing over people’s rights (the right to privacy, the right to anonymity) in their quest for it. And sadly, these people often cannot tell the difference between the appearance of TRUTH and TRUTH itself. And these, the ones who are so convinced they have found the TRUTH that they stop looking for it, are some of the worst oppressors of Natural Rights the world has ever known.

They are the hunters, and it is right and good for the prey to be afraid of the hunters, and to run away from them. Do not be fooled when a hunter says “why are you running from me if you have nothing to hide?” Because having something to hide is not the only reason to be hiding something.


Because there are lots of little things we do every day that break the rules. These include: j-walking, downloading MP3’s, subletting without telling your landlord, recording sporting events without express written concent, undocumented domestic help, recreational drug use, stealing cable, logging on to other people’s wireless networks, “leaking” company information to your girlfriend, anything besides the missionary position (in many states), cheating on your wife (in many states), rolling stops on empty streets, u-turns in the middle of empty streets, locking your bicycle to the handrailing, lying about your age to get into movies, lying about your age to get senior citizens discounts, lying about your age to avoid getting senior citizens discounts, telling your company that you’re “sick” when you really mean you’re “sick and tired of this crappy job,” not reporting e-bay sales as taxable income, grabbing an extra newspaper when someone else buys one from the machine, putting chairs in the street to save your parking spot, stealing office supplies, stealing the towels, littering, loitering, the office NCAA pool, etc etc. All of these are necessary for the functioning of our society in some way or another, but are illegal. Yet we would go batshit insane without a few personal pet vices.

And the system has been built with this in mind: nobody wants to stop your weekly 5$ poker match, they wanted to stop the gambling houses where people lost their rent money. Enforce the letter of the law, and the intent of the law gets lost.

After all, if you can break the rule of law, why not them?

De minimis non curat lex.

The law does not concern itself with trifles”.

IOW, the purpose of the law is put in place to hold society as a whole together by punishing those whose actions threaten the fabric of society, rather than those whose actions which, while technically illegal, are of such little consequence that quite frankly the court has better things to do with its time than listen to them.

J’ai perdu les références… Rappels bienvenus.