Re: Transparent society

From: \[ Robert-Coyote \] (
Date: Thu May 11 2000 - 14:45:05 MDT

During a historical period in China, it was custom to fill government
positions with people who have no evidence that they have ever had a desire
to govern, and anyone who aspired to govern was suspect.

If privacy is property, as are all other Rights, how can my property be
taken without due process?

Is asserting that only criminals value privacy, the same thing as saying
privacy is contraband?

If privacy is only to be held by the govmnt for national security purposes,
then is it not munitions as encryption is?

If my personal information has value, and that personal information is made
use of, where is my payment for the use?

Can the govment take responsibility for any damage that may be cause because
of dispersal of my property to those who would do me harm?

If disclosure of some information that is not volunteered by me causes me a
harm, who is liable?"


After I sent this the first time, I was worried I wrote this in too
obnoxious a
way, and given the list's latest arguments, I'm glad no one took me to task
      Anway, to respond... (what Spike wrote should be italicized, and below

Here is where I say something that a lot of people are probably going to
tell me
I'm full of it for, but - I don't necessarily limit this to government;
companies can be just as bad or worse. (Think of data sifting for ways to
you crap you don't need). However, for now, it is govt. which has the real
power. I'll say, for this to be honest, I go to at least one place I know is
under heavy surveillance by the owners. I couldn't care less. I'll do what I
want, and not worry about it. The problem I had was the part where Zero said
that only criminals would worry about the surveillance, a variant on the
not like me must be defective" argument. Why should we have to accept being
watched, or be branded a criminal? It may be inevitable that we have a
watched society (given how people seem to live through their tvs, they may
simply not protest as much as I do. But then, I'm weird) but do we have to
      The big question I have is this - Do we really think people will watch
government any more than they do now? I mean, what do people care about
or Monica Lewinsky? The only reason Clinton was impeached was because his
'crimes' involved sex. Otherwise, no one would care. Do we really think this
'transparent' society (I've GOT to read Brin's book) will get people to pay
attention? Technology gives out power, I think that's true, but how few
are willing to use it, no matter how easy it is?

From: Spike Jones <>
      The solution is not necessarily to stop society from become ever more
transparent [which
      is like holding back the tide from coming up the beach] but rather to
      change the way people with power operate. Such as, arranging
      government so that there are fewer people, less power. With
      sufficient surveillance, every act of people with power is open
      to public scrutiny.

Do we really want this? I mean, it's difficult to get good people to run for
office now, what would the incentives have to be to get anyone to be in
Ultimately I'm in favor of anarchy, but we are a long way from being that
to self-govern. If we make the dis-incentives for being in office this
will we really be able to attract good, honest people into office? Not that
have an answer, but I think it's a question about which we ought to think.

> Giving people who've shown a fairly consistent record of being
> untrustworthy more power is insane.
Right again Mike! I couldnt agree more. Those who are
untrustworthy with power must come under ever more scrutiny.
Anyone who runs for public office must be watched constantly,
every move, every word, every deed. Cameras dont blink.

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