If It’s Not Your Info, Shut Up

Claire Wolfe and I talk in the new book about the need for privacy, and the most basic of concepts when it comes to handling information–called “need to know.” It’s pretty simple; if the person you’re about to tell doesn’t need to know, don’t tell them.  There are plenty of things that even our close friends or family don’t know, and that’s perfectly fine.

We also discuss figuring out what your personal critical information is. It’s different for every person; while one person might decide that even identifying himself as a gun owner is going to be part of his critical information, someone else might be a gunsmith, firearms dealer, or instructor, so it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that THAT guy owns weapons. Now, what he owns, how many, and where in the house they are–that’s critical information for him.

The big point here is only you can decide what your critical information is–no one else.

We make this point because there’s an even more important point that goes with it: If it is not your information, it’s not your decision as to whether it’s critical or not–so shut up.

You might think this is a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised. It happens far too often that the same people who believe we should all have freedom and privacy, somehow believe that it’s no big deal if they spill information about other people that they have no right to pass along.

We talk about a life-or-death situation in the book where someone gave up information on someone else without a second thought, putting them in danger. Just today I saw information showing that Person A gave away the location of Person B’s home to a third party who was a complete stranger–someone, in fact, who is known to be a disruptive, possibly even mentally unstable person.

Here’s the core of the problem: we have ‘trusted friends,’ and we 1) forget that they also have trusted friends, and

Do you want your doctor telling others that you have a certain medical condition? Do you want your banker to tell people how much money is in your account? Of course not, because while they may be privy to the information, it is not theirs to use or even speak of, outside of the context in which they need to know it.

The same thing is true in resistance. Do you want your private sale gun connection telling someone over a grill and a beer that they sold you some rifles? Maybe your next-door neighbor mentioning to their co-workers that they live next door to “one of those prepper folks that has lots of food and stuff.” Do you want your message contact telling a casual acquaintance what you drive? (Trick question–your contacts shouldn’t know what you drive anyway. They don’t need to.)

You see, that’s another facet of “need to know.” Just because you need to know a piece of information for a specific purpose doesn’t give you carte blanche to use that information in other contexts and situations. For instance, perhaps you were told about a safe house because you needed to know about it as part of your resistance work. Later, when you’re at your son’s soccer game being Regular Parent(tm) and someone mentions living on Rose Street, it would be asinine for you to reply casually, “Oh, I know some folks who live on that street; you know that green house on the corner?”

Here’s the bottom line:

  • If it’s your information, and you’re willing to accept the consequences or effects of blabbing it, great.  That’s your choice.
  • If it’s not your information, however, then you aren’t the one making the decision as to whether it’s critical information. You don’t have to bear the consequences of that information getting into the wrong hands.

Shut up about it.

Basics of Resistance is available now on paperback, or you can pre-order the Kindle version.

 

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