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

David Farber dave at farber.net
Fri Jan 14 01:02:03 PST 2005

------ Forwarded Message
From: Josh Duberman <pivotalinfo at usa.net>
Reply-To: <pivotalinfo at usa.net>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2005 19:19:51 -0800
To: <dave at farber.net>
Subject: Re: [IP] No expectation of privacy in public? In a pig's eye!

Hi - I forwarded these messages to author David Brin.
His reply is below, and he gave permission for you to post it IP if you

Thank you and best wishes - Josh

Josh, thanks for sharing these remarks about privacy.
Alas, these folks are falling for the usual trap that
has snared so many well-meaning people for the last
decade.  They are right to worry about creeping Big
Brotherism... and vigorously defending the wrong
stretch of wall.

What weird reflex is it, that makes bright people fall
for the trap of seeing SECRECY as a friend of freedom?
(Oh, when it's YOUR secrecy you call it "privacy.") To
rail against others seeing, without suggesting  any
conceivable way that

(1) the technologies could be stopped or
(2) how it would help matters to stop govt
surveillance even if we could.

As I've emphasized in The Transparent Society, the
thing that has kept us free and safe has been to
emphasize MORE information flows.  To
ENHANCE how much average people know.



And yes, this is the one way to protect genuine
PRIVACY... though any sensible person knows that the
word will be re-defined in a new century flooded with
cheap cameras.

(For a look at the near future, see:

This inane reflex to try to blind others, instead of
empowering citizens to look back, is like a drug,
alas.  But slowly people are awakening to the facts.
The world will be a sea of cameras and vision.  But
that needn't be a nightmare, if we can hold the
watchers accountable by looking BACK.

With cordial regards,

David Brin
www.davidbrin.com <http://www.davidbrin.com>

David Farber wrote:
> Orwell was an amateur djf
> ------ Forwarded Message
> From: Lauren Weinstein <lauren at vortex.com> <mailto:lauren at vortex.com>
> Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 11:38:28 -0800
> To: <dave at farber.net> <mailto:dave at farber.net>
> Cc: <lauren at vortex.com> <mailto:lauren at vortex.com>
> Subject: No expectation of privacy in public? In a pig's eye!
> Dave,
> 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
> privacy.
> 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--
> Lauren Weinstein
> lauren at pfir.org or lauren at vortex.com or lauren at privacyforum.org
> Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
> http://www.pfir.org/lauren
> 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> <mailto:ghicks at cadence.com>
>> Reply-To: Gregory Hicks <ghicks at cadence.com> <mailto:ghicks at cadence.com>
>> Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 09:42:03 -0800 (PST)
>> To: <dave at farber.net> <mailto:dave at farber.net>
>> Cc: <ghicks at metis.cadence.com> <mailto: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.
> ------ End of Forwarded Message

Josh Duberman, Pivotalinfo LLC,
15100 SE 38th St. #819, Bellevue,
WA 98006; Tel:(425) 746-0050;
Cell:(425) 591-8200; pivotalinfo at usa.net;
Information For Solutions In Business & Science

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