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Until such time, we are left with a familiar refrain as the proponents’ last refuge: “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”

That, too, rings hollow. In a nation that casts aside the shield of individual liberty for the fig leaf of faith in a benevolent government, citizens with nothing to hide have everything to fear. The long story of humanity is very clear on this point: Benevolence is fleeting.

And once it’s gone, we are at the mercy of that old Black Raven.

Igor Birman came to the United States as a Soviet refugee at the age of 13 and is chief of staff for California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock.