Re: Transparent Society

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Sat May 13 2000 - 12:05:32 MDT

>From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <>
>Zero Powers wrote:
> >
> > >From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <>
> >
> > >Now, lets assume that another bombing has occured. Mr. Powers happens
> > >a) have a deisel tractor (and a fuel tank to keep it fuelled), b) be a
> > >farmer, so he has a lot of fertilizer, c) be an electronics hobbyist,
> > >and enjoy making remote control devices, d) be known to have made up
> > >explosives in the past and used them on his private property simply for
> > >the purpose of clearing stumps (as is the case with thousands of
> > >and other property owners all over the country), e) have in the past
> > >written letters to the editor of his local paper decrying the
> > >of an organization or government agency that happened to have had
> > >offices or facilities at the site of the bombing, f) have been stopped
> > >for a traffic violation on the day of the bombing within 20 miles of
> > >bombing location. Under the rules of evidence and the prosecutorial
> > >procedure used in the Oklahoma case, its is pretty much an open and
> > >case that Mr. Powers is the bomber in this event. No eyewitnesses are
> > >needed to place him on the scene at the time of the bombing, no
> > >eyewitnesses are needed to prove that he actually made the bomb.
> > >
> > >This IS how justice gets done today in America.
> >
> > OK, lets assume all that. Now, lets *also* assume I was fortunate
>enough to
> > live in a tranparent society. I would submit the video record of my
> > during the few days leading up to the bombing and viola! instant
> > allibi! I'm not only *not* convicted, I'm not even charged! After a
> > minutes of interrogation, the whole ordeal for me is over for good. "Oh
> > horrors of transparency", eh?
>Thats not Transparent society, that is private serveillance. Not the
>same. Besides that, it would not take the government much work to
>'prove' that your coverage was faked.

1. There is nothing that requires a "transparent society" to consist of
government-only surveillance. My preference would be for *everyone* to
conduct their own surveillance which could be verified, if necessary, by
anyone else's surveillance.

2. You are *assuming* that when I said "I would submit the video record of
my life" that I meant my own private recordings. That is not necessarily
what I meant. As you suggest, it would be even that much better for me if
the video record had been created and/or maintained by the Government. That
would take away the one possible problem for me: the claim that I had
altered the record. If the government had its own copy (and assuming it
showed the same thing as my copy) then my life is even easier.

Of course if I was the actual bomber the last thing in the world I'd want is
for a mutually verifiable accurate record of my doings. Which goes back to
my main argument: that honest folk have much more to gain, and much less to
fear, from a transparent society. You, by your own hypothetical, have made
this point for me as eloquently as I could ever hope to. Thanks.


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

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