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August 11, 2007

Quis Custodiet Custodes Ipsos

So executive governments (anyone noticed the rise of the executive around the world? Whither Parliaments?) from Zimbabwe to the US to Australia and elsewhere, want to effectively erode the very notion of privacy and a private life - intercepting email, telephone calls, physical mail, using surveillance cameras in public (and not so public) spaces, using sniffer dogs to detect drug possession with no reasonable cause.

You know what? I don't care. On one small proviso.

That radical transparency works both ways.
That politicians, senior public servants, the police, all of those who watch over us (Quis Custodiet Custodes Ipsos) submit to constant (I mean constant) monitoring - every single step you take is monitored. You submit to random blood testing for drugs (and when at work, alcohol). And everything you do is publicly disclosed. Who you dine with. What books you read. Everything. After all, if you have nothing to hide, what do you have to fear?

In a world with no privacy, everyone has the same privacy - because we are all human. Because we all have faults and foibles which can be used against us. But when the faults and foibles of all are exposed to everyone else, the playing field is level.

Some guy once said "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". In a world where all of us are sinners (as we all are) and whose sins are not actively kept secret (name a powerful person, revered or otherwise without secrets and sins) stones are that much less likely to be cast. No one is without sin, and so no one casts stones.

What an irony, should the growing intrusion of totalitarian techniques ultimately liberate us - I'll show you mine should you show me yours.

So, pervasive surveillance - of emails, mail, phone calls, and you know, above all my thoughts is fine. If it's also of yours.

August 11, 2007 | Permalink


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Dovetails nicely with my idea for politicians: all politicians must rely on public health and transport systems. Including sending their kids to public schools. Transport ministers get the added bonus of having to use public transport or pay full rates for their own parking.

After all, they tell us the public systems are fine - so why should they object to using them?

Posted by: Ben Buchanan | Aug 18, 2007 7:31:11 PM

Amen Ben,

see also my previous suggestion that all political statements on the record are in effect under oath, and if knowingly or recklessly dishonest are considered perjury. What on earth could be the problem with that?


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