Re: Transparent society

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Fri May 12 2000 - 12:35:38 MDT

Here's some funny electronic countermeasure ideas: make some device that
when plugged into a wall circuit starts throwing lots of white noise into
the socket. Next, have developed a low-power radio frequency emission
detector so you can sweep your room, and a low power emitter to bathe your
immediate in a wash of radio frequency white noise. Next is to start
bouncing lasers off of any external windows. Also handy is an audible
frequency white noise generator. Maybe good would be a camera with
computer vision that when swept across a field of view picked up any
reflections, e.g, from any lenses. If computer connections are required,
you're in particularly bad shape in regards to any privacy. Start by
repurposing some chips that were never planned to be in any
realisticdevice, or have your own manufactured. Then, write or have
written a secure operating system. At this point as soon as its networked
its moot, although you might be able to find enough free proxies and
anonymous remailers to send and/or receive e-mail.

I switch topics to write a little bit about some bill that some flaky
members of congress proposed called the "meth lab" bill. One proviso of
this proposed legislation essentially outlaws any material posted with the
_intent_ (note emphasis on intent) of breaking some law. Let me trawl and
find the actual text of this bill proviso which is blatantly and likely
purposefully Constitutionally infringent.

Here is the text of the proposed legislation that prohibits free speech
based upon its intent:

          `(2) PROHIBITION- It shall be unlawful for any person--

               `(A) to teach or demonstrate the manufacture of a
controlled substance, or to distribute by any means information pertaining
to, in
               whole or in part, the manufacture or use of a controlled
substance, with the _intent_ that the teaching, demonstration, or
information be
               used for, or in furtherance of, an activity that
constitutes a Federal crime; or

               `(B) to teach or demonstrate to any person the manufacture
of a controlled substance, or to distribute to any person, by any means,
               information pertaining to, in whole or in part, the
manufacture or use of a controlled substance, knowing that such person
_intends_ to
               use the teaching, demonstration, or information for, or in
furtherance of, an activity that constitutes a Federal crime."

About transparency again, I am reminded of some words posted by Lorrey.
He says that basically any citizen can arrest and file criminal charges,
although they can't give parking tickets. Well then, it's about time to
start grassroots movements to find the corrupt white-collar politicians
and bring to bear against them justice. This isn't the "wild west" posse
with a rope after a horse thief, it can be a dynamic group of highly
sophisticated citizens who are sick and tired of government malfeasance,
with enough legalismo to make it happen, and enough communicative options
to share the information about benefits to the citizenry at large.

Again about the free speech intent, I figure a good place to start would
be if that ugly legislation was put into law. If that happens, then every
single web page that is published by the government could be determined to
be in violation of that, and it would be started "People of the United
States vs. United States Government." Most government published web pages
(that is, anything paid for by the taxpayers at large as opposed to
individually, corporately, or organizationally) have little to due with
any form of chemistry, so anyone could see that it would be a ridiculous
lawsuit. Their intent shall be called.

Next would be the activation of a few good software agents to compare all
legislative code to practice, and before we know it we would have a stack
of subpoenas for many members of government.

The positive result: a stack of legislation that is shown to bad
legislation, ready to be stricken at one fell swoop. The desired end
result: rational and equal protection under law.

That leads me to think more about jurimetrics, etcetera, that is,
rationalized application of judicial rule. There is a huge base of code
(legal code) not to mention the tax code which is simply ridiculous. It
is certainly so that there is a lot of code because there are many subtle
disctinctions to be made, yet by the same token it is so that much of the
code what does exist on the books can be seen as invalid or requisite of
refit and streamlining to a large degree. There are skilled jurists who
have a good general idea of the entirety of legal code and experts in some
of the specific areas, and these can show the artificial intelligence
expert systems what to winnow as chaff from the golden rules that are good

Somewhat cynically,

Ross Finlayson

Spike Jones wrote:

> We tend to talk about transparent society as tho it is some kind of
> future threat, but let us look at where we are now.
> I bought a wireless camera and receiver, in order to attach it to
> a kite and fly over Mike Lorrey’s house.
> {8^D Kidding Mike bygones. I bought one to size up the current
> threat to privacy posed by these cheap wireless cameras, and determine
> their suitability for a wearable. Here is my short report.
> The camera I bought is an 80 dollar model. It has a wireless
> transmitter that has a range of about 30 to 40 meters. It doesnt
> matter what stands between the transmitter and receiver. It needs
> a 12 volt power supply on both the transmit and receive ends.
> The current draw is low enough that it would be useful as
> a wearable cam, keeping in mind of course the limited range.
> The transmitter unit will fit into a sphere the size of a baseball
> and has a mass of about 170 grams. The receiver is slightly larger
> and slightly heavier.
> The device has very good resolution and good color, better than
> the security cameras one sees in use today. The outstanding
> weakness of this system is it has no means of adjusting for
> lighting conditions, and so the picture appears fairly dark in normal
> room light. In low room light, it becomes functionally useless.
> So far so good, but heres the part that has me a bit worried: the
> viewer on the transmitter has a plastic light shield that can be
> filed off. If this is done, the light receiver lens is 2.5 mm
> diameter (a tenth of an inch). If someone were to try to hide
> one of these devices, they would need a space the size of a
> baseball, a hole 2.5 mm diameter, and a power source.
> Nowthen, imagine yourself in a hotel room. Search all around
> for baseball sized places behind something. Where would
> someone try to hide one of these devices? My first guess
> would be in the TV. [Shades of Orwell’s 1984, eh?] One
> could probably pull off a front panel, mount the thing in
> there, drill a 2.5 mm hole, tap into the power cord, put it
> back together and have a little spy system that the maids
> would neeeeever notice, in fact you and I would have a
> hard time finding it, knowing exactly what we are looking for.
> If someone had a spycam mounted in the hotel TV, they
> could set up the receiver in any room on that hall, or they
> could save the cost of a room and set up the receiver and
> VCR in a car out in the parking lot. There would be no
> risk to the person receiving, because there would be no
> way for you to figure out where the receiver is located,
> it being a passive device.
> So. 80 bucks for the camera, 90 bucks gets you a VCR
> these days, and I think a tape is another couple, so 172
> clams plus the cost of at least one night’s room rent
> puts one in the spy business. Little kids can come up
> with that kind of money, and when it comes down to
> it, that is exactly the kind of person who might be
> tempted to try such a scheme: the 12-15 crowd. There
> is also the pervert crowd and perhaps an odd blackmailer
> or two thrown in.
> Nowthen, I see four ways to defeat such goings on:
> 1) Search the hotel TV for 2.5 mm diameter holes.
> 2) Keep the lights in your room low.
> 3) Turn the TV to face away from whatever you dont
> want the whole world to see,
> 4) throw a towel or blanket over the TV.
> Gives ya the creeps, does it not? Extropian friends, we must
> face the fact that all technology is not necessarily good, even
> if it is cool. We need not speak of transparent society as something
> that is coming. We are already there. spike

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