RE: FYI: MEDIA & Greenpeace

Michael Butler (
Fri, 6 Dec 1996 17:55:52 PST

Now Brin himself has come out seriously proposing that privacy is evil,
and that we should restructure society to prevent it!


I take his major point to be that, much as "good pitching beats good
hitting", good surveillance beats good privacy. Or to roughly quote
him, what good does ironclad crypto do you if a gnat-sized camera can
shoulder-surf you while you type?

I haven't spoken with him personally about this, and he does tend to
be rather firm in his opinions, but I took his commentary as being
more intended to knock down false confidence in privacy that may not
exist for very much longer.

There are parallel issues relating to authentication of data (see
_Rising Sun_, for example). But to keep to the matter at hand...

In effect, if the choice is between one Big Brother _or_ a ton
of Little Brothers, old-style privacy perforce goes away. He doesn't
see a third option. I'm not sure I do either.

I don't see that as Luddite. I think asking the questions shows

MMB, at but not for OCC