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Re: Privacy saying: "If you have nothing to hide..."

Posted by Bruce Kahl on October 20, 2001

In Reply to: Privacy saying: "If you have nothing to hide..." posted by jason on October 19, 2001

: I have had this much of a quote or saying regarding personal privacy bouncing around my head.
: "If/Since you have nothing to hide you won't mind my searching/looking..." Here's where it gets fuzzy for me.
: Can someone give me the actual wording and maybe where it's from? Thanks. jason

Just a guess but I think Senator Joe McCarthy may have originated that phrase.

The US and Communist Russia were, after WW2, involved in a Cold War for many decades.

Senator Joe, in the early 1950s, was convinced that the US was being infiltrated by Reds and Lefties so he whipped up public opinion with the aid of certain newspapers and influential newspaper columnists.

The US Congress created a special committee to look into the "Red Menace" entitled the House Un-American Activities Committee ( HUAC ) and he was the chairman of the HUAC.

His operatives and henchmen investigated certain people's backgrounds and if the Senator did not like what his people found then the victims of his investigations would be "invited" to testify before HUAC.

If you chose to invoke your right NOT to testify then the Senator would bellow out in a most scary fashion that "if you had nothing to hide...".
Eventually, people started shouting back at him,he fell from grace and eventually slithered back into the cave from whence he came.