Re: Weasels vs. transparancy / traffic cameras

From: Martin Ling (
Date: Mon May 22 2000 - 13:38:10 MDT

> Martin Ling wrote:
> > On Mon, May 22, 2000 at 10:04:36AM -0400, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> > > >
> > > > and I hesitate to call _anyone_ to carries an M-16 a "dissident".
> > >
> > > did SAS kill dissidents? ... check
> >
> > Please note the distinction between peaceful dissidents and armed
> > terrorists.
> When the government has the authority to restrict your ability to practice
> peaceful protest and demonstration, and uses it, why do you wonder that
> the result is armed insurrection? You leave them no choice. When you've
> got no other options, and nothing left to lose, violence IS a viable
> option. If you are a member of the population that supports a government
> that opresses people this way, you deserve to become a target. Violent
> rebellion is a very direct indicator of how free segments of the
> population are. Those that refuse to acknowledge and understand this
> deserve their fate.

And if you don't wish to uphold the current government, what do you do?

Protes... oh, *right*, I get it.

> > > Is there an Official Secrets Act? ... check (and how is the FOI Act
> > > any different? New name the same dog?)
> >
> > And the US, of course, keeps no official secrets?
> How many newspapers have given a ratts behind, or can legally be forced
> by the government, to not print something just because the government
> doesn't want it to? The Official Secrets Act gives the PM the authority
> to censor any paper on national security grounds, perfectly legally,
> and prosecute anyone who doesn't obey. That can't happen here.
> > Wasn't it you who criticised me once before, suggesting I thought I knew
> > the whole story about everything that goes on?
> The way the government handles things here is through propaganda,
> manipulation, and disinformation. While the question of whether
> this is better than overt government orders is obviously a good
> question to debate.

Indeed. I'd much prefer the overt government orders and laws, which at
least then have things set out clearly. Such as with the issue of
encryption in email - the new UK laws say you must, if ordered, hand
over your encryption keys (and it's up to *you* to prove you *don't* have
keys for a given piece of encrypted data, which needless to say is
dubious - and meets problems with the European Human Rights regs, in
terms of not being able to force someone to incriminate themselves).

In the scenario where the government and laws are (supposedly) the
fair and informed choice of the people, I'd much rather an honest
statement of what one's rights *are*, so that one knows, and people have
the opportunity to do something about those arrangements if they don't
like them.

The US hasn't ever clearly set out whether they can force you or
threaten you to get you to give them an encryption key - although it
wouldn't surprise me at all if things came to the crunch and someone was
being made to when it came to court. Problems arise because they don't
know where they stand (can they be forced to? Is there anyone who
*cares*?). And if there's nothing in the laws about it, how can anyone
fight to change it?

> > Would you cut all taxation? Make all public services optional private
> > ones?
> Sure, why not?
> > Including policing? (threads merge...)
> Yes, but not privatize as a distinct authority to a corporation, but a
> distributed, decentralized policing done by the citizens themselves.

So, no taxation, no public services, private (and not even centralised)

I'm not criticising that conclusion, but personally, I'd consider such
an arrangement not much of a state at all.

Out of interest, what would you leave in? Nothing more than an agreement
on what the laws should be? Would you expect them to hold?

And how long do you think it would be before people started to *want*
public services, centralised police, etc, and if unable to change the
top-level government's arrangements, implement things at lower levels?


| Martin J. Ling              Tel: +44 (0)20 8863 2948   |
|      Fax: +44 (0)20 8248 4025   |
|  Mobile: +44 (0)7940 482675 |

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