Re: Transparent Society

Damien R. Sullivan (
Wed, 5 Nov 1997 16:45:55 -0800 (PST)

On Nov 5, 4:37pm, Hal Finney wrote:

} One is fear that without cryptographic assurances, virtually all privacy
} will be lost. We are moving down a path towards a surveillance society,

Brin likes privacy, but between a surveillance society and an anonymous
society he prefers the former. I think he makes a strong case for it.

} your on-line payments, your web surfing habits, into a complete dossier
} on you.

If I know who's collecting the information, and if I have equivalent
dossiers on them, and on those in power, this isn't so bad.

} It is hard to enforce a minimum wage law when the two parties interacting
} know each other only by crypto pseudonyms and payment is made by
} untraceable, anonymous electronic cash. Likewise many other kinds

Assassinations, untraceable kidnappings...

} some libertarians predict that crypto will bring about the collapse of
} the state, as most commerce moves into untraceable electronic forms,
} depriving the state of tax revenue.

In response Brin would laugh hysterically. "We know you have money.
Give some to us or we kill you. No? Okay, we'll take your car and kick
you out of your home." Or demand that you work for the government for
some period of time.

-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-)

"(But) I've spent a lot of my life working in New Guinea (on bird
evolution) among technologically primitive people. The average New
Guinean is smarter, more alert, more interested and more engaged than
the average white American." -- Jared Diamond, _Guns Germs and Steel_