Privacy and Law Enforcement

Ross A. Finlayson (
Tue, 13 Apr 1999 01:23:04 -0400

Hello again extropians list,

I'm writing again about the subject of privacy. In this e-mail, I focus on privacy and how law enforcement violates it.

Law enforcement, defined, is the enforcement of laws of a country. Generally, limited amounts of persons have law enforcement powers. In the United States, law enforcement powers are a privilege, not any kind of right at all.

Today, by the unconstitutional laws that have soiled the law books of our country, "law enforcement", or shall we say, "illegal government law enforcement" agencies have some legally defined un-Constitutional powers to conduct illegal searches and monitoring of private individuals. This is, as stated, un-Constitutional, as well as: un-American, cowardly, base, "snoopy", ugly, un-American, and downright Orwellian.

Now, I don't have any kind of problem with constitutional law enforcement only to the extent of protecting individual and civil liberties, ie, within its Constitutional domain. Anything else is not only not Constitutional, but base, cowardly, et al, as above.

Privacy, to some extent, is a right. It is a right because of the consideration of some personal data as "owned". For example, if my name was Joe B. Katzenhammer-Bulwar Jr., and somebody started sending e-mails using my name to spam people, that would be a violation of my personal data rights. This illustrates incompletely that personal data is property. Others using personal data without permission is thus theft of this property and subject to civil and possibly criminal liabilities. Thus, while it is not covered in the Constitution or Bill of Rights as a specific right, it is a right under the umbrella of other rights. It is also noted easily that certainly no one else can establish any kind of right to use personal data without permission.

The ability to aquire and use strong encryption to protect the integrity of personal data over the Internet is thus, by extension, a right. There are issues with national security with respect to encryption, but that has absolutely nothing to do with illegal wiretapping and un-Constitutional, unethical, communications interception, and the fact that those things are illegal, unethical, and un-Constitutional.

Back to "law enforcement in regards to un-Constitutional electronic communications privacy invasions", or shall we say, "goons", there is a absolutely no legitimate reason to circumvent the tried and true warrant and Miranda laws that assume the Consitutional "innocent until proven guilty." Thus, current government operations in these regards is un-Constitutional, thus illegal, and makes these government agencies civilly and criminally liable for said invasions of privacy.

Acoording to the Freedom of Information Act, which might better be termed the "Freedom of relatively unimportant information act" these agencies also enjoy some un-Constitutional abilities to withhold what information they do collect, this is base, et al, as stated above.

Now, I am elaborating on these reasons because I see these actions taken by our government as travesties of justice and a shameful thing, and the government deserves absolute examination and disclosure. I plan to continue to, as I am able, expose un-Constitutional and illegal government activities and as possible encourage their cessation and dissolution. There is absolutely no Constitutional, moral, or ethical reason for our government to pay voyeurs to spy on us. Rather, they can pay us to voluntarily give some of our information.

The lucre that keeps the grinding gears of government running each day is taxpayer money. Some of the tax-supported agencies are robbing you and all Americans of personal data, and they should pay for that and cease and desist.

On the subject of law enforcement, there are brave men and women who each day protect citizenry and other good, Constitutional things.

In regards to "goons" and privacy, there are illegal, un-Constitutional, institutional elements which should be abolished.

Ross F.

Ross Andrew Finlayson
"C is the speed of light."