1993-07-25 - Re: Remailers/PayPhones and Today’s NYT

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From: covin@cs.uchicago.edu
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 7a3747d2f2031fe44f3f85c738ecc0596d638afc33be9a18007dde9e6fda02fe
Message ID: <9307251731.AA28061@tartarus.uchicago.edu>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-07-25 16:58:13 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 25 Jul 93 09:58:13 PDT

Raw message

From: covin@cs.uchicago.edu
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 93 09:58:13 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Remailers/PayPhones and Today's NYT
Message-ID: <9307251731.AA28061@tartarus.uchicago.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

"George A. Gleason" <gg@well.sf.ca.us> writes:

>And did you read Hugh's posting about the 7pm to 8am coin
>curfew in Czechago?
>Wake up, how much evidence do you need that it's a simple matter of bigotry
>and classism?

Hm.  Perhaps it is.  On the other hand, it could also be a combination
of a little bit of greed for power with a bit of genuine fear and despair.
You see, if the Chicago Tribune can be believed, there are actual citizens'
groups lobbying for the removal of pay phones from certain areas of the
city.  Groups of citizens who *live* in those same areas.

These folk claim that public pay phones attract drug dealers, presumably
because of the semi-anonymity they provide.  I don't know personally how
true this claim is, but I can understand the advantages that a pay phone
might offer to a drug dealer.  Sure, the "big time" dealers might not
use anything as plebian as a public pay phone, but drugs are a big booming
business, and clearly there are far more small-time dealers than big-time

They further claim that drug dealers attract violence.  I don't know myself
if this is true, but I do know from reading the paper that an absurdly large
number of people are killed in Chicago by stray bullets shot by drug dealers
in conflicts with each other.  And, of course, still more folks who *are*
drug dealers are killed directly, each year.

Finally, they claim that merchants in certain areas are pandering to the
drug-dealer market for pay phones by installing far more than one would
otherwise think necessary.  I haven't seen this myself, but the article I
read did mention what seemed like unusually large clusters (street corners
with 7-10 pay phones).

That's the fear and despair bit.  It could be bigotry, it could be classism--
but stray bullets are damn good motivators too, and here in Chicago we have
a lot of them.

As for greed: this could be a factor, it might not.  At least one alderman
has made it illegal to install new pay phones in his ward without his explicit
permission.  Clearly this adds to his power.  The same fellow has made much
of his public name in recent campaigning against these public pay phones,
and threatening to take an axe to them himself if some of them weren't
removed.  Make of this what you will.

How much more evidence do I need that it's a simple matter of bigotry
and classism?  Well, a bit more than I've seen so far.

Cypherpunk content?  This is a damn good illustration of the problems that
can crop up with an anonymous service.  Though services on the net have the
advantage of not being tied to a physical location, like pay phones are;
so they probably won't serve to attract a "bad element" to any particular
place.  On the other hand, any sort of public terminal service offering 
encrypted email, might very well.