Re: Brin on Privacy

Hara Ra (
Sun, 29 Dec 1996 15:10:37 -0800

d.brin wrote:

> What I have said repeatedly is that privacy is a very nice thing. But it is
> a BENEFIT of freedom. Even in a transparent society we will have some
> privacy, because as sovereign citizens we will be able to demand some.
> Under freedom, we can negotiate ways and means with each other.
> But accountability is not a benefit, it is the absolute basis of freedom.
> Its prime prerequisite. Without accountability, freedom will die. That is
> history. That is human nature.
> Again, my role as curmugeonly contrarian is partly what drew me into this
> debate. The near universality of the secrecy-fetishism argument provoked me
> to offer a 3rd choice. So? Not once have I heard a cypherpunk admit the
> existence of an entire class of solutions to the privacy dilemmas we face
> -- the mutual transparency class, which should be part of any mature
> discussion of these issues.

I think that mutual transparency is worth exploring and is slowly
becoming more present in the world. I base my personal relationships on
this principle and the more transparent we are to one another, the more
mutual trust. In my POV, trust is essential to happiness and comfort, as
well as having things work well together.

There are fascinating possibilities here. For example, politics. Suppose
that any holder of public office is *required* to be completely
transparent, ie, allow total 24 hour surveillance of their lives, with
this information available to all who request it. In such an environment
it might dawn on the pols that candor and honesty work better than
deceit. Note that we already have the means to do this, albeit for a
limited number of people. Let's start with the president and all of the

| Hara Ra <> |
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