“If they are innocent they should have nothing to fear” Check #1: Alan Turing
“Innocent people are sure to be spied upon, but if they are innocent they should have nothing to fear.” — Jack McCully, August 4 2014
“If you are innocent you should have nothing to fear and you will most probably not be noticed.” — Myrmidon, February 24 2014
“So this is surveillance! The innocent should have nothing to fear! Only the guilty!” — Osibisa, May 7 2013
“What some see as excessive serveillance, so long as we’re not filmed jacking off in the bathroom, and to use a cliché, the innocent should have nothing to fear.” — Magnetic North, November 8 206
Do the innocent truly have nothing to fear from intrusive surveillance? Let’s check that.
Check #1: Alan Turing, the cryptographic and computing expert who helped defeat Nazi Germany by cracking the Enigma code. He was more than innocent; he was a hero.
But the British government placed him under surveillance. Did they discover that he had committed any treasonous or terrorist acts? No. They only discovered that he was gay. For being gay Alan Turing was publicly humiliated, criminally convicted, chemically castrated and castigated so harshly that a few years later, desperately despondent, he committed suicide.
Alan Turing was innocent. But because his government was zealously bigoted, Alan Turing had a lot to fear.
“Commander Vimes didn’t like the phrase ‘The innocent have nothing to fear’, believing the innocent had everything to fear, mostly from the guilty but in the longer term even more from those who say things like ‘The innocent have nothing to fear’.”
— Terry Pratchett, Snuff