Re: Transparency is impossible

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Mon Apr 03 2000 - 12:26:05 MDT

>From: "John Clark" <>
>Only if the transparency works both ways and the people doing the
>surveillance are themselves under surveillance, but of course that's
>impossible. The President would never agree to have a camera in
>the oval office so all the world could see what he's doing,

The President might not agree to have a tape recorder in the Oval Office
either (remember Nixon?) and he might not agree to have reporters all over
the world digging into his background to bring all his dusty skeletons to
the light of day (remember Clinton?), but the fact of the matter is that the
President does not make the laws, that is the job of Congress. And once a
law is passed, the President (last I checked) is just as subject to it as
you and me (remember Clinton again?).

>and besides
>I can always use encryption for things I don't want you to know about.

No encryption is unbreakable, that is just a fact. Further, if such
cypherpunk activities are criminalized, the very act of attempting to use
encryption for the purpose of tampering with the public record would likely
be construed to be a forfeiture of your rights.

>I'll find the camera, splice into the video line, and play back a recording
>of me
>reading the Bible, saluting the flag, and generally being a good little
>Now I can do what I want.

Until you are caught (which will probably be quite likely) and then you will
be sorry.

>There are far too many cameras for somebody to be watching all of them all
>of the time, I'll do it when nobody is watching.

I imagine that the video will be monitored by AI (or very powerful
unintelligent computers) for suspicious activity. Yeah, yeah I know this
takes a lot more computational ability than is possible in 2000 a.d., right?
  Well, I ain't talking about a system that will be put in place this year.
Computers that can automatically search through telephone traffic for
keywords have existed since at least the 1970s. I don't think it is much of
a stretch to extrapolate this technology to inclulde video feeds in the next
10-20 years.h


"I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past"
--Thomas Jefferson

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