1997-06-13 - Re: FUCK YOU: There’s no general right to privacy – get over it, from Netly

Header Data

From: Ray Arachelian <sunder@brainlink.com>
To: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Message Hash: cdcb859f22a1aabc97aee23ae5cade74aaca3430a93ffb3d1a33d00880adf951
Message ID: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970613132302.23715J-100000@beast.brainlink.com>
Reply To: <v03102802afc71cdf1f83@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1997-06-13 18:42:40 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 02:42:40 +0800

Raw message

From: Ray Arachelian <sunder@brainlink.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 02:42:40 +0800
To: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Subject: Re: FUCK YOU: There's no general right to privacy -- get over it, from Netly
In-Reply-To: <v03102802afc71cdf1f83@[]>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970613132302.23715J-100000@beast.brainlink.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Fri, 13 Jun 1997, Tim May wrote:

> Your "go through all your records" point is ambiguous. If others broke into
> your house or office and searched your computer they would be guilty of
> breaking and entering, and probably theft (of your records). Publication of
> your records "all over the net" could be a compounding act, especially in a
> civil action against the thieves.

So, say that someone got your DMV records, found out where you lived, and
murdered you.  Would your family be able to sue the DMV?  Sure it's public
knowledge, but should it be?  Should breeches of privacy be limited to
"Breaking and Entering" or "hacking?"  Isn't the fundemental problem not
simply trespassing, but rather invasion of privacy?  

If I broke into your house, but didn't touch and thing, and didn't damage
anything, I'd still be trespassing, but would you mind?  If so, why?  I'd
bet because it invades your privacy, because it wasn't with your
permission. That's the root violation.  Trespassing is a side issue.

If the tree does fall in the forrest and no one hears it fall, it has
still fallen.  Whether it makes a noise is a question for Zen students. 
That it has fallen is unquestionable.   So I break into your house and
leave no traces and you don't know about it, would you care? 

What if I release the pictures of your house to the world?  What if I take
them using a telephoto lens from a distance?  What if I use IR scans of
your house to see what you're doing?  Or use microwaves bouncing off
metal objects, or IR lasers bouncing off your windows to listen in? At
what point does it become an invasion of privacy?  And what point would
you say I've gone too far?

Personally, I'd say it's too far when someone's going through my trash and
parking a van outside my house.  But that's my oppinion.

> However, if the "go through all your records" is really just collecting and
> compiling your public utterances, or information you gave to others (with
> no contractual agreement of secrecy), etc., then there is really no
> generalized "right to privacy."

If they are public records that were generated with my consent.  And yes,
I do agree with the above paragraph.  It's a big IF though.  But do I
consent to the DMV giving out my info?  Would I consent to the IRS giving
out my tax return?  Would I consent to TRW giving out credit reports to
anyone who is willing to pay the $50?  Not fucking likely.  Doesn't mean I
have any choice in the matter.  At no point did I sign any piece of paper
telling TRW they have the right to give out my info to anyone willing to
cough up the money.

> In a free and open society people are free to take any information they
> have gathered or compiled, cross-indexed and compiled, and sell it or do as
> they wish with it. "Tim's Dossier Service" is free to compile dossiers
> based on any records he can find.

Depends on what that info is and how it was obtained.  If your dossier
contains my credit cards, I can turn around and sue you, even though you
might have paid TRW to get that info or whatever.

If my phone number is unlisted and I share it with my CC company, and they
in turn release it to TRW, and you get it from them and post it to the
world, then I could sue my CC company, but it would be too late.  Sure, I
protect my info, but if someone didn't respect that, what recourse do I
have against them?  Once the info is out, it's out.
> ("Privacy advocates" find such things as "Tim's Dossier Service" abhorrent,
> and want laws regulating such things. They even want laws regulating the
> searching of past postings on Usenet, services likek DejaNews and
> AltaVista.)

Depends on what that information is.  There are robot rule files for your
web site that say "Don't catalog this," and web masters do get pissed if
it does.  Public postings are public. This is granted.  I'm not saying
what I write in public is considered private.  I chose to retain copyright
on it, but waive the distribution restrictions. This is granted. 

Further, if you are making money off my information, and if that
information was not publically available, but you sell it, should I not
have the right to get a slice of your profits - assuming I even agree to
let you sell it?

The question is, should you have the right to collect info that I do not
relese to others publically, and make it public.  After all, if not for
protecting our privacy, what reasons would we need encryption?  What
reasons would we have for the existance of cypherpunks were not cyphers
ultimatly useful in obtaining privacy?  For the coolness of their
mathematical properties only?  For signatures only? Not fucking likely. 
Ask yourself why you favor the use cyphers, Tim.  If you don't say
"privacy" then get the fuck off this list.  Ditto for Declan.  (Of course,
this can't apply to the NSA since they have a different agenda on this
list, but that too is a given.) :)

> So, Ray, count me as "scum." Maybe Vulis will loan you his robot insulter
> and you can send ASCII art to the list.

I must admit, I am surprised at you, but no I don't robospam folks, and I
wouldn't borrow one from Vulis.

Perhaps you can turn around and say "Ray's on the rag" or "gone loony",
but I do feel strongly that information that I share with others should be
kept private unless I say so.  Ditto for "private" email.  (Quotes placed
to indicate how easily it is for bad folks to snoop unencrypted email.)

Perhaps I may be overly sensitive to the issue because Vulis (you did
bring his name up, so live with it) posted whatever public information he
could gain in a nice easily digestible package - much like Tim's Dossier
Service could and threated to send my employers weird email, and in the
same postings posted racist crap, but that was only PUBLICALLY available
info.  I retaliated by doing the same, but imagine how pissed I would be
were this info that wasn't publically available - like credit card
numbers, tax return info, etc... 

So yes, you can say, you need to live in a society that is free and open,
and yes, I can disagree with you and say you're scum for thinking that you
can freely collect info I consider private and then sell it.  It is after
all my right to disagree with this, and my right to freely say that I do. 

And of course this is a publically posted message, so go ahead and place
it in your dossier. :)


.+.^.+.|  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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