Patterico's Pontifications

8/28/2014

Meet the Man Who Has Nothing to Hide (But Not Really)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 am

At the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf writes about a man who supposedly has nothing to hide:

When someone debating privacy says, “but I don’t have anything to hide,” I am immediately suspicious. “Would you prove it by giving me access to your email accounts,” I’ve taken to replying, “along with your credit card statements and bank records?” Not a single person has ever taken me up on that challenge–until now.

Arizona resident Noah Dyer emailed me about an anti-privacy project he is promoting. I replied in my usual way. And to my surprise, he sent all his passwords.

“I have given you the things you’ve asked for, and have done so unconditionally,” he wrote. “I’ve given you the power to impersonate me. I request that you do not take advantage of me in this way, though I have obviously not made that desire a precondition to sharing the info with you. Additionally, while you may paint whatever picture of me you are inclined to based on the data and our conversations, I would ask you to exercise restraint in embarrassing others whose lives have crossed my path … Again, I have not made your agreement to that request a condition of sharing the data. I don’t think I have enough money that you would bother to take it or spend it. Look forward to talking more and seeing the article!”

“Wow,” I thought. “How reckless to give this access to a complete stranger!” Then I logged in to his email.

It’s an interesting piece with an interesting premise. Dyer turns out to be a self-promoting narcissist who got a divorce because he decided it was important to be able to sleep around — including, apparently, with several married women. He gave Friedersdorf complete access to all his passwords, which means he unilaterally decided that there would be no privacy, not just for him, but for anyone else who had ever entrusted him with anything private.

Although Friedersdorf repeatedly claims that Dyer has “nothing to hide,” he clearly does — because, for some reason, he doesn’t seem to want to give his bank and email passwords to the world . . . just to Friedersdorf. Dyer is active in comments to the article and I have asked him to post his passwords publicly. So far he has not, and I don’t expect that he will. (Nor should he.)

As best as I can tell, Dyer defends this by explaining that in his utopia, nobody would have any privacy, so if you stole something, everyone would know. In our imperfect world, however, he has to behave differently. Of course, in my utopia, self-promoting narcissists would not exist, so there would be no Noah Dyer to begin with. (Utopia, I’ll remind the reader, means “nowhere.”)

Dyer is trying to fund some Kickstarter campaign:

[I]f his ambitious Kickstarter, “A Year Without Privacy,” is funded, “I will walk my talk. You will see every minute of my life for a year. You will see every email, every text, every Facebook message and any other communication that I receive. You will see my bank account transaction and balances. You will see everything I eat and all the exercise I do … If I do have sex, it will be documented as a matter of fact, not with any specific intention to arouse or otherwise manipulate the viewer.”

Ladies, the line to have sex with this guy on camera for the whole world to see starts right over there!

I doubt he will be giving out his passwords to the entire world, though. Because the guy with nothing to hide, as it turns out, still does have plenty to hide — at least in the real world.

29 Responses to “Meet the Man Who Has Nothing to Hide (But Not Really)”

  1. No privacy? That’s not utopia, that’s dystopia. Anyway. In a world of nearly seven billion people, the odds are good that you’ll find just about any kind of kook you can imagine.

    nk (dbc370)

  2. Well the man is an idiot,and the fellow who took the challenge as well,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  3. This is one of the funniest and stupidest ideas I’ve ever heard of. What and idiot. Where do we get clowns like this? Wait, I know : public education!

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  4. Someone who wants someone else to write his biography might do something pretty close to this. He is not a celebrity, but he probably wants to be.

    This was obviously based on deciding, based on Conor Friedersdorf’s writing, and his employer, and the fact he has a reputation to maintain, that Conor Friedersdor is a decent person, and won’t do anything bad, but it’s still a bit of a gamble.

    And the requests and the restrictions prove there is a reason for privacy.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0d47)

  5. Ya think maybe Noah might not be the name his parents gave him? Just a thought, just a thought.

    ropelight (cdcdbf)

  6. This guy’s an exhibitionist.

    Conor (one N) is guilty of aiding and abetting a publicity
    stunt. Maybe he’s been offered a percentage of the gross.

    I have yet to see Conor (one N) do any real or valued journalism.

    jakee308 (ba1e65)

  7. He should change his name to Truman. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120382/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4

    Jim (145e10)

  8. How is Noah Dyer not already a columnist at Slate?

    JVW (638245)

  9. I have yet to see Conor (one N) do any real or valued journalism.

    I first recall being conscious of him about five or six years ago when he was for a time the defacto moderator of the serially abandoned American Scene. He’d taken it upon himself, after six years of ‘freelance journalism’ to launch a new niche product. You have book reviews and film reviews. Conor would provide you with reviews of radio talk shows. You may think that the seriality of the format and the extant relationship the host has with his audience makes that a futile enterprise, but that’s just because your not a discriminating fellow engaged by endless and tedious disquisitions on the rude things Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh had said to this and that caller. Rod Dreher found it instructive. Mark Steyn had a more dyspeptic assessment, offering that even being a snippy dweeb requires a certain amount of finesse. R.S. McCain’s view was that Conor was a specialist in producing certain recognizable tropes, the magazine article with a title like “The Conservative Case for [insert pet liberal cause]“.

    Robert Wright has a portfolio of people who are not politically aligned, libertarians, poseur conservatives, and capon conservatives who typcially function as the starboard side of the video dialouge series he runs (on those occasions when he contrives a discussion which does not include two members of the portside hashing out their sectarian disputes and idiosyncracies). Of all the people you might select to manifest a supposed perspective, his regular and frequent berths are allocated to two people: Conor Friedersdorf and someone named Matt Lewis who is other wise undistinguished, i.e. a poseur and a pet. It’s a living, I guess (or a fragment of one).

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  10. well first of all, there is category error, between voluntary disclosure and involuntary, but then again we are talking about Andrew Sullivan’s understudy, so why are we surprised,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  11. ? We’re talking about sticky gluts Jr. Who knew?

    ropelight (cdcdbf)

  12. Well everyone has to start somewhere. and his pieces in the Daily Beast were similarly informative,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  13. Arizonan Noah Dyer is not, to my knowledge, related to me closely (if at all), despite the shared surname.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  14. Ladies, the line to have sex with this guy on camera for the whole world to see starts right over there!

    Pat- I’m sure you are aware of the cable/satellite blockbuster “Naked Dating”. And of the legal activity by one of the contestants who wants to, of maybe did, sue because the show put her on TV… naked. I guess she never saw the connection.

    There just might some sort of line…

    gramps, the original (d40b0b)

  15. We are doomed.

    Noah Dyer is one of the reasons why ISIS thinks we are ripe for the taking. And I have a hard time convincing myself they’re wrong.

    I hope everyone has a good time keeping up with the Kardashians. Until the end.

    Steve57 (99bd31)

  16. Linking to Conor Friersdorf gives him more attention than he deserves.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  17. Steve57 (99bd31) — 8/28/2014 @ 11:49 am

    I hope everyone has a good time keeping up with the Kardashians. Until the end.

    The Kardashians are important.

    starchildiii (Jenay) – that is Nikki Reid – was following them. (if I remmber the pseudonym
    correctly)

    And ultimately, I think this goes back to the Nicole Brown Simpson murder.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0d47)

  18. Can we start a Kickstarter campaign to force him to maintain his privacy? The last thing I want to do is watch every minute of a narcissist’s life for a year.

    rochf (f3fbb0)

  19. What do you expect from arizona? Its the sun it bakes peoples brains so they can’t
    drive or make intelligent political decisions. If you don’t act crazy people won’t vote for you! A former legislature said it best when asked why he cut funding for the state mental hospital if the hospital had money for padded rooms they would throw all of us here at the state capital in the looney bin!

    mr.gop (128d89)

  20. that’s why I laugh at young master Conor F,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  21. The last thing I want to do is watch every minute of a narcissist’s life for a year.

    Especially seeing as we’ve already been subjected to pretty much that for the past six.

    PCachu (e072b7)

  22. You can not call yourself a fighting man until you have felt your teeth crack, your bones break, and you flesh rip.

    Which is why I suggest Rugby.

    Steve57 (99bd31)

  23. Boy, I can kill a conversation, can’t I?

    Steve57 (99bd31)

  24. You know, there are all sosrts of people who are documeting their life (or parts of it – mayhbe not their passwords)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  25. Dyer turns out to be a self-promoting narcissist

    So he’s just like Friedersdork.

    Rob Crawford (45d991)

  26. Btw Patterico, nowhere is “Eutopia”, not “Utopia”. The pronunciation is the same, and it’s a pun.

    JWB (c1c08f)

  27. Where’s the “me and my monkey” part?

    mojo (4a927a)


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