1997-05-31 - Re: Rotenberg as the Uber Enemy

Header Data

From: Mac Norton <mnorton@cavern.uark.edu>
To: Marc Rotenberg <rotenberg@epic.org>
Message Hash: 884b3610a3369ca8c603729d9481ae1d2919b7c1e032422ae5367bcc08d54a71
Message ID: <Pine.SOL.3.96.970531150013.3535A-100000@cavern.uark.edu>
Reply To: <v03007801afb61ffec219@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1997-05-31 20:21:50 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 1 Jun 1997 04:21:50 +0800

Raw message

From: Mac Norton <mnorton@cavern.uark.edu>
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 1997 04:21:50 +0800
To: Marc Rotenberg <rotenberg@epic.org>
Subject: Re: Rotenberg as the Uber Enemy
In-Reply-To: <v03007801afb61ffec219@[]>
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.96.970531150013.3535A-100000@cavern.uark.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Sat, 31 May 1997, Marc Rotenberg wrote:

> Let me also try to explain how the simple-minded
> First Amendment-privacy rights trade-off often
> misses the point about privacy claims.  Consider
> the article about Judge Bork's video viewing
> habits back in 1987. Should Congress/the Courts
> prevent City Paper from publishing the article?
> Of course not. Could Congress/the Courts require
> video record stores not to disclose customer
> records without explict consent? You decide.

Well, this may merely point up the fact that next to
government--or perhaps more than gov't--the greatest
threat to privacy is the existence of a free press.
That trade-off may be simple, but "simple-minded" seems
a little strongly put.

As for Posner, who's often good for a laugh, particularly 
when taken out of context, his point so often reduces to
a simple one itself: Which is easier (cheaper, more efficient,
etc.), law or the market?  Given that perfection in markets,
as in golf and most other things, is unattainable, sometimes
we shall have to resort to law, as in the "negotiating with the
telephone company" example.  But I think these are exceptions
to Tim's points, not necessarily invaliations of them.