privacy, safety, and freedom -- Re: Whether To Design Open Source Public Records Equipment

Zenaan Harkness zen at
Wed Jun 10 21:48:10 PDT 2020

On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 08:34:03PM -0300, Punk-Stasi 2.0 wrote:
> On Wed, 10 Jun 2020 19:05:52 -0400
> Karl <gmkarl at> wrote:
> > I'm not being clear.  I think I've been upsetting you too, something I do
> > not want to do.  I'm a little crestfallen over the difficulty communicating.
> 	don't worry about upsetting me. As far as communication goes though it seems you're ignorning my overall comments on 'technology' and political power. Anyway, I won't repeat them again. At least today...
> > I think I understand that you know surveillance is stimulating severe
> > danger these days, and that you are very, very concerned around the idea of
> > us building recording devices.  
> 	No, what 'concerns me' is the faulty reasoning. 
> > We need to protect our privacy and safety, and we need to defend that those are protected.  Am I on the right page  here?

So there's an old adage (a saying, holding some truth and/or wisdom):

   Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
   Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

and some variations from the same link:

   Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.

   Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

   He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.

The simple technical issue here is the fact that surveillance is inherently destroying.

And it is natural for folks to want safety - but heed the Franklin warning above!

In principle, if our (as humans) default position when faced with threats to our safety is to clamour for "solutions" which remove or reduce one or another of our freedoms, then the likely (towards certain) outcome (at least over the medium term) shall be the loss each freedom so sacrificed, and quite likely also that coveted safety.

To the extent we are able to obtain either the ability or means to protect ourselves, or to correct wrongs, withOUT giving up any freedom - THIS must be our first port of call!

And further, every proposal by anyone, that we "ought give up freedom A, B and or C", must be treated with the greatest of suspicion, and in the very very least must be thoroughly evaluated and examined and tested from this perspectiv of "are we giving up, or even encroaching upon, any basic human right and/or freedom?"

If WE do not uphold and protect our own basic human rights, then who will?

For any who missed the memo, privacy is a basic human right, fundamental to our dignity.

   I don't have to be doing anything wrong, to want my privacy.

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