Re: LEGAL: Alternatives to imprisonment

Timothy Bates (
Sun, 07 Mar 1999 16:25:53 +1100

From: said

> Tim,
> I have considered forms of Coventry before, but not with so much
> technological infrastructure. I am worried about the annonymous part of your
> suggestion. There is a reason people have the right to face their accusers.

You need to distinguish a court of law (in which you do have this right) from the rest of life, in which you don't.

We none of us have any idea what anyone is saying about us "behind our backs", as it were, and no legal right too know. I think that is just fine.

> How could you be sure you weren't receiving different versions of the same
> rumor (which might not even be true),

People who check best will do best. You can hire checkers. People will value their low rumor-monger scores.

> how do you guard against some
> talented hacker doing a hatchet job on an innocent person's reputation?
With unhackable encryption. Your reputation will be at least as safe as your bank account.

> Also, is there any time that a person's privacy
> is restored to them?
You have full privacy at all times. Other people have their knowledge about you at all times.

> People are not always the most forgiving, and what if someone
> has truly reformed, how are
> they to overcome prejudice based on past status...
By justifying it to whomever they wish to trade with. Basically, you just offer a discount for the first few transactions.

> Maybe if there were some
> sort of certification process which could add to your datastream any positive
> information about this person.
It is just a datastream. Certificates of both positive and negative information flow freely.

> I think these factors might weigh differently
> depending on what the offender has done wrong in the past.
Each of us will use our own judgement (or purchase the judgments of others) and make up our own minds.

> Oh, and who's
> paying for all this? Criminal fines, perhaps?

It is free. Band width will be free and people will want to push this information onto the stream so will do it for free. For-fee layer may evolve on top of this structure, but the core structure is free, just as speech is now (literally and metaphorically). That is why I am so hot on non-interventionist government - to allow these new systems to work.