An Argument Against Privacy was: Openness.

Paul Hughes (
Wed, 18 Nov 1998 19:16:02 -0800

Max More wrote:

> Certainly. I can imagine circumstances under which I would be much more
> private about my views on certain issues. If I were living under Stalinist
> Soviet communism with my current political views, I would be extremely
> cautious about how (and to whom) I expressed my views.

This topic got me thinking again about the issue of privacy. For the most part, I have always applauded the efforts of the Cypherpunks, because it gives us a leg-up on the competition from the intelligence community. Not to mention, there are certain things I would much prefer remain private.

However, David Brine make avery good point. It is only a matter of time before 'gnat' bots become widely available - equipped with the latest micro-sized video cameras and solid-state recording. With a plethora of such flying solid-state devices, what is to keep anyone from spying on anyone else? Not much, considering that such gnatbots could conceivably infiltrate even the most heavily guarded top-secret facilities.

Assuming their commercial availability, imagine all the people just dying to send hundreds, if not thousands of gnatbots into such facilities as the Pentagon, NORAD, CIA, NSA - even Area 51. It wouldn't be long before nearly all of the governments secrets would become public knowledge. Is this a bad thing? I'm not sure, but it certainly levels the playing field, making it substantially harder (if not improbable) for a select group of individuals from perpetrating a crime on the rest of us and not getting caught.

Also, all of those dirty little habits that we all have in one degree or another would become public knowledge - whether it be picking your nose or whatever - you get my drift. Even the most conservative and prudish people will have all of their dirty laundry aired to the world. Either we'll all end up killing each other over our embarrassing ideosynchrocies, or we adopt a more open-society where nearly everything goes.

Libertarians have argued for a long time to eliminate all victimless crimes from the books. The bottom line is almost everyone has committed a victimless crime. So either we begin incarcerating everyone or we eliminate those crimes from the books.

So the question remains - is this a bad thing? And if so, is there a way to avoid it anyway amidst a proliferation of commercial gnatbots?

Paul Hughes

P.S. Please take my arguments here as an advocacy for eliminating privacy - I still treasure mine highly.