17 Cypherpunks subscribers on watch list, Project Lookout

Eric Cordian emc at artifact.psychedelic.net
Tue Nov 19 21:22:58 PST 2002

Tim Spoofs:

> A company I am involved with has been on the distribution list for the 
> FBI's Project Lookout watch list, the list being shared with banks, 
> electronics companies, consulting firms, transportation companies, and 
> 1100 other firms.

> Cross-indexing with the CP subscriber list, I find 17 names on both 
> lists.

> We must be vigilant! Civil rights are only for innocents, not guilty 
> persons.

This of course is not a true tale, but an incredible simulation to make a

The real danger, however, lies not in a "watch list," but in the
government's desire for a massive computer system which will link every
single bit of computer accessible information on every individual for
instant access, from credit files, to tax records, to web pages and Usenet
posts, to insults hurled at you by various vigilante groups.

The earth currently has a population of just slightly over six billion
people.  This means that a 200 gigabyte drive can store 256 bits of
information on every single person on the planet, and you can hold it in
the palm of your hand, and use it for any devious purpose you can

Supercomputers are just about to reach, and then surpass, human brain
equivalent capacity in both OPS and memory.  A few more years, and these
supercomputers will be desktops.

OPS and bits have simply become so cheap, that everyone on the planet can
potentially have instant access to everything everyone else on the planet
has ever publicly said or done, grepped and condensed anyway they like,
before dealing with anyone.

Libertopians are hardly likely to want any legal restrictions on freedom
of choice in business or personal dealings, or in the free market trade in
publicly accessible information about citizens, so few limits are likely
to be placed on the inevitable march of this technology.

There are companies that now hire only non-smokers.  In the future, this
could just as easy become never-smoked, never used drugs, had a perfect
attendance record in the Gubmint School, and never criticized the

Try to board a plane, and get told, "I'm sorry, but Homeland Airlines
doesn't carry people who wrote an essay like the one you turned into your
10th grade teacher on such and such 15 years ago."

Brinworld on steroids.

Eric Michael Cordian 0+
O:.T:.O:. Mathematical Munitions Division
"Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law"

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