Re: GPS Car speed control advancing in UK

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Mon Jan 29 2001 - 08:28:59 MST

denis bider wrote:
> Charlie Stross writes:
> > There're some more possibilities you forgot, if you follow
> > this line of reasoning. Fit all pre-17 year olds with chastity
> > belts because sex before 17 violates the age of consent.
> > Strip-search people every week to look for suspicious signs
> > that they've been engaging in sadomasochistic sexual
> > activities that cause physical damage.
> I think laws generally tend to be too strict when they are difficult to
> enforce, so that they are easier to enforce in those cases when they *can*
> be enforced.
> Once technology develops to allow a law to be enforced more easily, the law
> itself needs to be adapted. The assumption that something is difficult to
> enforce is usually designed into laws, so when this assumption stops being
> true, the law needs to evolve consistently - in the spirit of what the law
> was originally meant to achieve, not in the spirit of what the letter of the
> law currently says.
> I am looking forward towards a time when technology will enable us to limit
> ourselves to good behavior by means of technology rather than by means of
> law. However, I fear that some dumbsters in charge won't realize that
> existing laws *do* need to be reconsidered and adapted once this takes
> place. If they are not, this could easily lead to an Orvellian society.

What you describe WILL be an Orwellian society. Technological
feasibility of enforcement is not a justification to adopt a law. If it
were, we'd then have a Moore's Law of creeping fascism. Only a person
who has absolutely no trust in their fellow man would support such a
silly idea. Like any technology, a law is just a tool, it is not a 'good
thing' in and of itself, nor is the goal of controlling peoples behavior
in increasing amounts to be lauded as a positive goal of law
enforcement. Laws, in a free society, are supposed to exist to enhance,
not restrict, the utilization of our individual liberties to the maximum
extent possible for the most number of people, and to ensure that
everyone is able to exercise some minimum set of liberties. Only fascist
laws dictate the maximum liberty possible for everyone. Making it easier
to enforce such laws is not only not extropic, its not human or humane.

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