Re: law enforcement for profit

Date: Sat May 06 2000 - 21:04:24 MDT

Chuck Kuecker wrote:
>> The problem is the definition of "crime". When any action that has no harm
to another person is labeled a "crime", then surveillance becomes
tyrannical. We can look forward (for example) to smokers being fined by
mail, and as was stated earlier, a final breakdown of the "innocent until
proven guilty" principle.

What I would fear is the fickleness of those in power. The misuse of
personal preference, personal agenda. This is a danger now (and always) but
with a transparant society it would be hideously increased.

Billy Brown wrote:
>> IMO the Open Society movement is in a phase similar to what Communism went
through before the Russian revolution. The idea has a certain superficial
appeal, and the fact that it has never been tested allows proponents to get
away with glossing over its problems in casual conversation.

Yes, it sounds so clean and innocent and wholesome - nothing to fear, nothing
to hide. I wonder about certain personality types: voyeur types, the
show-offs, the gossip/meddling types, the "nosey parkers", the "puritan"
types here in the US. I do not understand those who are on the web now with
their webcams filming them 24x7. To me that would be a nightmare, a horror,
something that might occur in a madhouse... yet they enjoy it...

Zero Powers writes:
>> There is no question that a completely transparent society would be near
impossible to implement *now*. However, all the obstacles you mention are
dependent upon present-day public attitudes and present-day technology.
Both of these are rapidly changing, even exponentially so.

How about private attitudes or personality types? I've lived in a sort of
communal situation. There was no privacy, no respect for personal space. It
was one of the worst times of my life. There *was* someone watching over my
shoulder all the time, listening on phone calls, reading mail, going through
personal belongings. This is what they do to people in prison! And we want
to implement it everywhere?

Spike wrote:
>> I agree that transparent society is a threat,
but that it has benefits as well. As society becomes more transparent
we must compensate by voting more libertarian governments.

Yes, the laws must become *very* simple, *very* few, easy to follow, hard to
break. The gvt must become *extremely* small and ... weak. These are good
goals, even without transparency.

Zero wrote:
>> Well, let me put it like this: if there is no clear line between legal and
illegal behavior, then there is effectively no such thing as illegal
behavior. Or at best, it would lead to what you like to call "capricious

That is precisely what I experienced in my situation of being under
surveillance. It was "governed" by personal preference on the part of the
... governing body (in that situation).

Zero wrote:
>> I, like most law-abiding citizens, have absolutely nothing to fear from a
transparent society. If your deeds are good, you have no interest in
keeping them secret. If you are willing to fight tooth and nail to keep
your deeds hidden..., well do the math.

Indeed, *you* may have nothing to hide, but does that mean you wish (or are
comfortable with) your, what, love life, most intimate moments, most private
times, recorded to be (possibly) voyeured by strangers, neighbors, or
enemies? Or are you not a private person? Would you like to be an actor
24x7? What about those of us who choose to live alone because we prefer
solitude. No, we are not doing things bad, wrong, illegal, dangerous... we
simply might like quiet and space. Of course, maybe that *is* bad, wrong -
not to wish to be part of the herd. :?

Zero wrote:
>> Once the recording is made, there is no telling where it will eventually


Harvey Newstrom wrote:
>> "Michael" isn't good enough. I want your full name, address, telephone
number, social security number, credit card numbers, a copy of your tax
return, a close-up picture of your car keys and house keys, your unpublished
papers, videos of you when you were drunk, a measurement of your penis size,
and naked pictures of everybody you have had sex with.

If you have not done anything illegal, perhaps you've done things you were
not proud of, that you'd just as soon have forgotten. But no, they're going
to be permanently recorded and available to all. Rather the way the
political hopefuls' lives are now... spread before the masses - given spin in
any chosen direction, for whatever purpose.

Zero wrote:
>> As those who have been through this thread before already know, the
transparency I'm in favor of is completely *mutual*. So, show me yours and
I'll show you mine.

I *don't* want a transparent society. I wish to be private. Would there be
force attached to this mutual transparency?

Mr. Lorry wrote:
>> Commies felt the same way. They felt, and beleived with their whole
hearts, that the destiny of humankind was in the subservience of the
individual to the state, the elimination of the right to property, that
centrally planned governments and economies were the only way to
properly run the world.

... it would remove all the problems of evil and wrongdoing for ever and
ever.... as in, too good to be true.

Emlyn wrote:
>> Ubiquitous surveilance has its appeal. It is certainly an interesting
approach to the problem of "Big Brother"; Big Brother may be watching, but
so is everyone else, and Big Brother is as watched as anyone else.

>> However, it does not take account of the (necessary in my opinion) split
between the private and public spheres. We all live in cultures where the
formal, public culture is different from private, informal culture; we act,
feel, and live differently in public than we do in private. This is a
psychological effect which has nothing to do with criminal behaviour in
private; people just like privacy, for a whole slew of reasons.


>> Anyway, this whole attempt to disolve the private realm is interesting. For
instance, imagine if a potential employer could examine your entire life in
minute detail (presumably with the help of some very smart information
filtering/collation systems), to decide whether to employ you or not.
Eliezer has complained in the past of the fact that there are still very
public searchable databases of his participation in various internet forums
available now, from when he was 14, and held opinions which he does not hold
now. Imagine that problem multiplied out to the level where every single
instant of your life was available to all.

Yes, and although a pullet cannot outfly her tailfeathers, it would be nice
to be able to move beyond one's past.

No, I do not know of any terrible thing I have done in my youth that I am
trying to hide. I found early on that honesty was the best policy, for
surely if I tried to hide something questionable, it would surface at the
most inconvenient time. But it is *my* decision, not something forced upon


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