1997-06-01 - Re: Rotenberg as the Uber Enemy

Header Data

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
To: Marc Rotenberg <rotenberg@epic.org>
Message Hash: 5da2e499409de9508a7c7639de74a316a1e2487dd8e86983799d03dfb91c8417
Message ID: <v03102807afb671036b89@[]>
Reply To: <v03102806afb650b3d40d@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1997-06-01 00:46:46 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 1 Jun 1997 08:46:46 +0800

Raw message

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 1997 08:46:46 +0800
To: Marc Rotenberg <rotenberg@epic.org>
Subject: Re: Rotenberg as the Uber Enemy
In-Reply-To: <v03102806afb650b3d40d@[]>
Message-ID: <v03102807afb671036b89@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 6:05 PM -0700 5/31/97, Marc Rotenberg wrote:

>What examples do you have where privacy is included in
>a contractual arrangement?

- a lender agrees to transfer the information provided only to specified
parties, and not to the newspapers

- a stockbroker agrees that as a condition of becoming one's stockbroker he
won't release information to third parties without permission

- relationships between editors, publishing houses, journalists, etc.,
where work product is kept confidential unless otherwise agreed to be made

- attorney-client communications

(These and similar examples often have state-supported legalisms to "go
after" those who break the good faith and/or normative contracts for the
industry, but it is accurate to say that these examples are first and
foremost based on _contracts_. Indeed, in all of these cases there are
papers signed stipulating to a constellation of rights and privacy
expectations. And in some cases the rights are subsumed in "general
industry practices," including professional organizations. Thus, I expect
my stockbroker not to publicize my stock holdings, not because there is a
"privacy law" protecting me, but because of either a contract formally
specifying this, or because of industry standards....I freely admit I
haven't checked, nor do I even know how to (my account was established 22
years ago). Those who might argue that these examples are only made
possible because of _laws_ (e.g., SEC rules) are missing the role of
contracts, formal or based on self-regulation in an industry. My broker
knows just how long he'd remain a broker, let alone remain my broker, if he
violated my privacy expectations. Laws are not the point. Nor do laws
provide the robust protection private arrangements provide.)

- banking privacy, modulo the interference by IRS/FinCEN/etc.,

- employment relations, where employees have reasonable expectations that
personal data will not be released outside the company, and companies have
reasonable expectations that corporate secrets will be maintained. (I
signed such papers when I joined Intel, of course, and that contract was
more important for maintaining Intel's "privacy" than any "privacy laws."
Again, quibblers may cite the role of the courts in enforcing such
contracts, but the point remains that it was _contract law_ which was
involved, not "privacy laws" per se.)

And so on. I really don't feel like spending a lot of time making a laundry
list of cases where privacy is part of a mutually agreed upon transaction.

Idenity is just another credential in a transaction.

--Tim May

There's something wrong when I'm a felon under an increasing number of laws.
Only one response to the key grabbers is warranted: "Death to Tyrants!"
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
tcmay@got.net  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."