1997-06-24 - Re: William Just doesn’t get it.

Header Data

From: Ray Arachelian <sunder@brainlink.com>
To: “William H. Geiger III” <whgiii@amaranth.com>
Message Hash: b910b283e1a1575ae5cbd8f2401c746908ee2c16d6879e956d5081a933317118
Message ID: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970624113126.8208A-100000@beast.brainlink.com>
Reply To: <199706240318.WAA01933@mailhub.amaranth.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-06-24 16:07:05 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 25 Jun 1997 00:07:05 +0800

Raw message

From: Ray Arachelian <sunder@brainlink.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 1997 00:07:05 +0800
To: "William H. Geiger III" <whgiii@amaranth.com>
Subject: Re: William Just doesn't get it.
In-Reply-To: <199706240318.WAA01933@mailhub.amaranth.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970624113126.8208A-100000@beast.brainlink.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Mon, 23 Jun 1997, William H. Geiger III wrote:

> Only one here being clueless is you Ray.

Thanks for the compliment.  I burp in your general direction.
> The state is not allowed to engage in secret activities with select
> members of society. Whenever it issues a permit or a license to someone it
> is public knowledge. Whenever someone is arrested, whenever there is a
> trial both great and small the full details are public information.

Asking the state to protect my privacy by not disclosing the information I
disclose to it is not asking the state to engage in secret activities with
select members of society.  It is asking it not to release information
that I am forced to give them in return for certain goods, services, or
privilidges - driving for example.  Having a driver's license doesn't mean
I wish to share the information that the DMV requires to provide such a
license to the world.

Paying taxes doesn't mean I wish to disclose my 1040 form to the world.
> All actions of the state *must* be reviewable by the citizens. You can not
> have a free and open society without the people being able to check on
> what it's government is doing.

And tell me dear William, in what way will you prevent the government from
taking capricious actions against a free and open society by allowing
anyone to find out a phone number that is unlisted by simply calling up
DMV records?

This isn't keeping tabs on the government, this is keeping tabs on the
people which the government choses to infringe on.

If the DMV wasn't giving licenses to certain types of people and one
believed that this was the case, one should ask those people who felt that
they were discriminated against.  One should not have the ability to look
at EVERY record in the DMV databases - no matter how noble the thought.

This is not to protect the DMV, this is to protect those listed within its

> This means that all of the following *must* be open to the public:

Again, by your oppinion, not mine.  And no, I don't believe in a "free and
open" society.  I believe in a "free and private" society.
> Criminal Records

As for these, IMHO, once a criminal has completed their sentence they
should be allowed to have a life.  Having these records available to all
is a means of discriminating against them for having commited a crime as
judged by a jury.  Not necessarily having commited the crime, but being
convicted of doing so - as is well known mistakes have been made and lives
have been destroyed by such mistakes.

IMHO, repeat offenders will wind up in jail again, and will be punished
again.  This should not infringe on their right to secure jobs or the
right to rent, or buy homes.

The idea of the justice system is to correct these wrongs, not to punish
for life.  Once the debt is paid, it is paid.  There are some who believe
that offenders should not be re-released into society because they will
commit more crimes, and/or that the communities should be notified when
they are allowed to move there.  If it is the case that person X is likely
to commit more crime, then that fact should play a factor in person X's
parole hearing.  IMHO, if the danger is there, don't let the bastard out.
If it isn't, then let them go and let them live in peace and privacy.

> Voter Registrations

These too can be both a benefit and an infringement on privacy.  Whatever
information these records hold might be used for other purposes.

> Census Records

Why?  What is the purpose of having these records available in forms other
than a number?

> Building Permits

I agree here.

> Profesional Licenses

Sure, but only so far as to say "Yep, person X has this license" not "and
they live on xyz street, have three kids, and a poodle."

> Court Transcripts


> Federal Records
> State Records
> County Records
> City Records

Granted, but which specific records?

> ect, ect, ect.

clue: You mean etc as in "Et Cetera."

> The problem here is *NOT* that this information is public. The problem is
> that the goverment has got it's fat little fingers into everything. The
> solution is *NOT* letting the state hide what it is doing with these so
> called privacy laws but to get the state out of where it has no business
> being in the first place!!!

I agree that there is ALSO a problem that the government has its fat
fingers in everything and is allowed to do things that others aren't
allowed to do.  For instance many places where gambling is illegal provide
lotteries with astronomical odds against the player.  Were the things done
by casinos, nobody would play.

I agree that what the state does and whom they interact with should be
public knowledge.  I do not agree that by virtue of interacting with the
state that I should be force to give up my privacy.  I do not have the
choice of not interacting with the state due to lovelies such as income
taxes and drivers licenses - I should not be forced to give up privacy as 
well because of this.

Based on what you say everything the state does should be public.  Fine,
but if anyone were able to see anyone else's 1040 forms, you'd have a lot
of invasion of privacy.  This is what you fail to see or understand.  This
isn't a strawman, it's plain fact.  If I can see your return, I can see
how much you make, whatever deductions or exemptions you claim can give me
a slew of information as to what you have purchased and your general life
style.  The address info and SSN will give me even more keys into your
info.  Birth and Marriage records will tell me who your mother is, then I
can look up her records, and find her maiden name, then I can take your
SSN, your mother's maiden name, your date of birth and hand them over to
TRW and see your credit card purchases, etc.  This is the thing that
should not be that you are advocating, the thing I and fighting you on.  I
think that it is indeed the case that you require a few clues.

> And this has nothing to do with GAK or any other 1984ish monitoring of
> citizens. The issue here is bringing the activities of the state into the
> light of day. The activities of the citizens that do not directly involve
> the state are not at issue here.

Then DMV records should not be fully visible, neither should 1040 forms,
for example.  But the key is "that do not directly involve the state"  The
problem is that the state directly involves us into their activities and
we directly involve them through our votes.  That is the key that will
unlock the records into the activities of the citizens, and unlock their
privacy when they should not.

For the most part we agree - the government's activities should be public
knowledge and should be watched and reviewed carefully.  However in your
eagerness to make this happen you would also strip away the privacy of the
citizens only because the government interacts and forces itself on
interacting with them.

And that is the clue you fail to get.

.+.^.+.|  Ray Arachelian    | "If you wanna touch the sky, you must  |./|\.
..\|/..|sunder@sundernet.com| be prepared to die.  And I hate cough  |/\|/\
<--*-->| ------------------ | syrup, don't you?"                     |\/|\/
../|\..| "A toast to Odin,  | For with those which eternal lie, with |.\|/.
.+.v.+.|God of screwdrivers"| strange aeons, even death may die.     |.....
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