[IP] No expectation of privacy in public? In a pig's eye!

David Farber dave at farber.net
Wed Jan 12 11:46:47 PST 2005

Orwell was an amateur djf

------ Forwarded Message
From: Lauren Weinstein <lauren at vortex.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 11:38:28 -0800
To: <dave at farber.net>
Cc: <lauren at vortex.com>
Subject: No expectation of privacy in public? In a pig's eye!


It's time to blow the lid off this "no expectation of privacy in
public places" argument that judges and law enforcement now spout out
like demented parrots in so many situations.

Technology has rendered that argument meaningless -- unless we
intend to permit a pervasive surveillance slave society to become
our future -- which apparently is the goal among some parties.

It is incredibly disingenuous to claim that cameras (increasingly
tied to face recognition software) and GPS tracking devices (which
could end up being standard in new vehicles as part of their
instrumentation black boxes), etc. are no different than cops
following suspects.

Technology will effectively allow everyone to be followed all of the
time.  Unless society agrees that everything you do outside the
confines of your home and office should be available to authorities
on demand -- even retrospectively via archived images and data -- we
are going down an incredibly dangerous hole.

I use the "slimy guy in the raincoat" analogy.  Let's say the
government arranged for everyone to be followed at all times in
public by slimy guys in raincoats.  Each has a camera and clipboard,
and wherever you go in public, they are your shadow.  They keep
snapping photos of where you go and where you look.  They're
constantly jotting down the details of your movements.  When you go
into your home, they wait outside, ready to start shadowing you
again as soon as you step off your property.  Every day, they report
everything they've learned about you to a government database.

Needless to say, most people would presumably feel incredibly
violated by such a scenario, even though it's all taking place in
that public space where we're told that we have no expectation of

Technology is creating the largely invisible equivalent of that guy
in the raincoat, ready to tail us all in perpetuity.  If we don't
control him, he will most assuredly control us.

Lauren Weinstein
lauren at pfir.org or lauren at vortex.com or lauren at privacyforum.org
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
Co-Founder, PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org
Co-Founder, Fact Squad - http://www.factsquad.org
Co-Founder, URIICA - Union for Representative International Internet
                     Cooperation and Analysis - http://www.uriica.org
Moderator, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com

  - - -

> ------ Forwarded Message
> From: Gregory Hicks <ghicks at cadence.com>
> Reply-To: Gregory Hicks <ghicks at cadence.com>
> Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 09:42:03 -0800 (PST)
> To: <dave at farber.net>
> Cc: <ghicks at metis.cadence.com>
> Subject: Ruling gives cops leeway with GPS
> Dave:
> For IP if you wish...
> http://timesunion.com/AspStories/storyprint.asp?StoryID=322152
> Ruling gives cops leeway with GPS
> Decision allows use of vehicle tracking device without a warrant
> By BRENDAN LYONS, Staff writer
> First published: Tuesday, January 11, 2005
> In a decision that could dramatically affect criminal investigations
> nationwide, a federal judge has ruled police didn't need a warrant when
> they attached a satellite tracking device to the underbelly of a car
> being driven by a suspected Hells Angels operative.
> [...snip...]
> All Times Union materials copyright 1996-2005, Capital Newspapers
> Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, N.Y.

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