[1] “If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.“, Eric Schmidt, December 2009
[2] “The only people that don't want to disclose the truth, are people with something to hide.”, Obama, August 2010
[3] “What actually happens with national security is protecting the interests of New Zealanders, and if people aren’t doing something wrong, then it’s very unlikely they would be falling within the remit of the GCSB’s activities.”, John Key, June 2013
[4] "Nothing must be hidden. Those who have not committed a crime, have nothing to fear.“, Tayyip Erdogan, January 2014

Four chosen variations of the well-known motto as it has appeared in media over the years. “If citizens have nothing to hide, they have nothing to worry about”; the motto is smartly formulated as a hypothetical statement, containing a question and a consequence, however it functions as a direct suggestion. Followed by a warning (have or have not to worry about), it resembles the voice of a policeman investigating, while subconsciously calling the auditor to justify their position. The common reaction to such a question is apologetic defense.

Well constructed, the motto doesn't highlight its main statement which is the constant presence of surveillance. It takes for a fact the already existing surveillance, but what it does introduce is how one accepts this fact. It implies in what way the auditor should accept the fact; they should or shouldn't start worrying.

Well promising, it advocates a possible future; it calls for an “open” society, for citizens who have nothing to hide. Unfortunately, the propagation of such a superficial human model is not a lighthearted joke. It is an order camouflaged as hypothesis.