The 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear' defenders of the Coalition's controversial plans to extend officialdom's powers to monitor email and social network traffic haven't thought through their casual abandonment of the public right to privacy.
It is as though net curtains and garden fences are in place only to hide the misdemeanours of their owners. Whatever happened to "an Englishman's home is his castle"?
The answer, says the Government, is the State must respond to terrorism and serious crime by better oversight of the latest internet technology.
But it is for the Government to make the case for increased legislation. Every inroad into privacy must be hard won and then only allowed under the strictest regulation.
We must be on our guard against ever-creeping intrusion into our private lives. To do otherwise not only erodes our rights to live free of Big Brother snoopers but also gives succour to regimes that wish to curtail the freedom of speech of their own people.