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May 30th, 2007
06:26 pm
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From:heron61
Date:May 31st, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)
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Charles Stross has a fair amount of interesting stuff to say about privacy and technology. It's a lost battle at this point, and as long as we end up with something more like Brin's Transparent Society than a rigid police state, I'm fairly happy with the idea. Laws will need to adapt, and hopefully will result in eliminating many trivial and ubiquitous crimes. If the laws keep up (I expect they will in the EU and won't, at least for a while in the US), I actually think that the decline of privacy may end up being a good thing. The idea that anything done in public is explicitly public actually seems like a good idea to me. I also expect that in-home privacy will continue, but will require some effort (special window shades, etc...) to insure.
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From:baxil
Date:May 31st, 2007 08:12 pm (UTC)
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> The idea that anything done in public is explicitly public actually seems like a good idea to me.

I respectfully disagree. This assumes good faith on the part of the watchmen.

If everything that you buy, every building that you enter, every conversation you have with friends while out over coffee, is permanently a part of the public record ... any group with a vested interest in social control has that much more ammunition against you.

To name two quick examples:

Fundamentalist religions would gain complete surveillance over their members' public lives. Any group seeking to enforce behavior restrictions on its members could have essentially cultlike control. I don't see any reasonable method of solving this social problem before the technological one overtakes us.

I don't know much about Brin's Transparent Society, but I have a hard time seeing how equiveillance would prevent state surveillance abuses. You can't decide what data the authorities gather about you, and if they set you up for a campaign of harassment, the fact that you can add context to your innocence doesn't stop them from grinding you through the wheels of bureaucracy.

And let's not even get into stalkers.
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