1994-06-10 - Re: Crime and punishment in cyberspace - 3 of 3

Header Data

From: Jim choate <ravage@bga.com>
To: diseased@panix.com (Edward Hirsch)
Message Hash: 892c0e8123cb5f1c560fe542cef3eafa1a5950051d7cda99b40078f267925973
Message ID: <199406101313.IAA16876@zoom.bga.com>
Reply To: <Pine.3.87.9406100107.A4199-0100000@panix.com>
UTC Datetime: 1994-06-10 13:13:17 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 10 Jun 94 06:13:17 PDT

Raw message

From: Jim choate <ravage@bga.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 94 06:13:17 PDT
To: diseased@panix.com (Edward Hirsch)
Subject: Re: Crime and punishment in cyberspace - 3 of 3
In-Reply-To: <Pine.3.87.9406100107.A4199-0100000@panix.com>
Message-ID: <199406101313.IAA16876@zoom.bga.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text

> > >
> > Rights are the items of a citizens characteristic which are outside
> > the ability of that government to control within its charter. Rights
> > come before a government forms. If they didn't then you would not be 
> > able to [draft a charter]
> Well, that's one view of rights.  However, most attempts to base so 
> called natural rights (i.e. rights that are somehow intrinsic to human 
> existence) have been largely unsuccesful.  It's a tough argument to make.
Seems to me the 'inalienable rights' that are mentioned in our founding 
charter carry this argument quite well. I suspect they also 'prove' them
as well. I am really not saying anything about 'natural' rights though.
The point I am making is that a government is defined by what it can and
can't do. This distinction is made at its creation through its charter.

> Rights are entities that are granted to individuals by 
> governments/agencies in a position to do so.  They exist only after a 
> charter is drafted, because it is their existence in the charter that 
> gives them their power.  The most obvious response when a right is 
> asserted is to ask where it comes from, e.g. to ask "why do you have a 
> right to privacy?"  An answer that makes sense is to say that it is 
> implied in this country's constitution, and therefore is applicable in 
> this country.  
> To suggest that such a right exists independent of a legal context gets 
> you into some pretty tricky territory.  You now have to make some claim 
> about rights that are instrinsic to human existence, which implies that 
> these rights must be common to all forms of social organization, a claim 
> that is real tough to make about such "rights" as privacy and property.
Since when isn't the Constitution a legal context?

> A value can exist prior to a charter... I might say, "gee, I value 
> privacy, and I think this value ought to be legitamized by my new 
> charter," but until that charter has been accepted, the right doesn't exist.