poly: Re: more privacy

From: d.brin <brin@cts.com>
Date: Fri Jun 05 1998 - 00:32:38 PDT

        In response to my comment:

>I've answered this many times. We already have vast privacy in public
>places like restaurants because of the deterrence that open visibility lets
>us enforce on blatant eavesdroppers & peepers.
> Hal ignores the effectiveness of openness as a weapon for defense.
>I've run into this before, ...

Robin answered:

>>David focuses on restaurant privacy in his book as well, and on reflection,
I have real problems with this example. The people around me in a restaurant
usually have no direct interest in me, and no cheap-enough way to sell
information about my meal with others who might be interested. But if they
were interested, it seems to me that they could see and hear anything they
wanted, assuming they were close enough to do so. With discrete directional
mikes and cameras, the costs of seeing and hearing should fall. The costs
of finding people who might be interested in this info should also fall.
When the costs are low enough, I don't see what will prevent this info being

But re-read both paras carefully. Robin says zilch about the central point
of my thesis... that catching eavesdroppers in the act is more effective as
a deterrence to invasion of privacy than any combination of technological
or legal mask/shrouds will be. If the ante gets upped by new hi tech mikes
& cameras, this will be more true than ever. They will not spy on you, no
matter how well equipped, if (a) you are equipped with a hi chance of
catching them in act + (b) society disapproves of spying so that they face
drawbacks to getting caught.
Received on Fri Jun 5 07:25:07 1998

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