Re: Transparency (Was Re: FreeNet downside)

From: James Wetterau (
Date: Fri Mar 24 2000 - 08:32:28 MST

"Zero Powers" says:
> >Big Borther, and all of your neighbors, are watching you....Now you
> >really feel free now, right? "Slavery is freedom." Yup thats 'real
> >freedom' alright.
> Well no. No one is watching me now, at least not very closely (at least not
> that I'm aware of). And of course, to the extent that I am being watched
> right now, it does not give me any sense of freedom. But the reason for
> that is that the "watching" is not *mutual*. Mutuality is the key to
> freedom in a transparent society.

I would say "voluntary". Making something voluntary means freedom to me.

Anyway, if there are no secrets, there can be no secret keys, right?
So how do you authenticate data streams? You rely on continuous
monitoring of the emplaced data streaming equipment to make sure it
doesn't get subverted, but surely there must be some points of
susceptibility along the transmission routes.

Here's another thought: assume humans radiate outward either
spherically from earth, or at least in a circle from earth across the
plane of the ecliptic. Are the ones at the edge supposed to bring the
surveillance with them and beam it back to earth?

OK, maybe you bribe them, as they go to the edges of human
civilization, by proposing an exchange -- as they go to the edges,
they should take the surveillance with them, in exchange for having
access to the earth's surveillance net. If so, how do you protect
yourself from their spoofing you? They set up a phony data stream
back. Soon, they're watching you, but you're not watching them.
Repeat at the various edge points, and soon you have info spoofing
warfare directed at the people of earth, hereafter referred to as "the
suckers". Once the people back home (the suckers) realize what's
happening, they're encircled by the spoofers. The suckers have
already made themselves completely transparent, so they can't as
easily spoof all the mutually confirming outbound streams, but bit by
bit individuals could contemptuously and openly shut them off, taking
the whole scheme down in a paroxysm of mutual distrust.

I think as surveillance grows, we will come to accept the notion that
people will have to explicitly build surveillance clean environments.
Nano-sealed for your protection, and the public/private distinction
will become more stark. I don't believe a panopticon is the way.

> But you miss the point, transparency is not about treating people as
> prisoners. It's about treating people as family (which when you think about
> it is what they are). I know almost everything about my wife. Her
> finances, her hopes, her fears, her weaknesses, her strengths. I know
> exactly how she'll react if I kiss the backs of her knees. I know where she
> is almost all the time. Does that make her my prisoner? Especially when

How does that scale with n+1 nodes and (n**2 + n)/2, that is O(n**2)
unique interconnections?

Hint: poorly.

All the best,

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