December 14, 2002

Arguing Privacy Technology vs. Privacy Laws

Ed Felten has a note about Privacy Technology vs. Privacy Laws, responding to:

Politech reprints an anonymous, somewhat overheated essay arguing for a technology-only approach to privacy, as opposed to one based on laws. It's easy to dismiss an essay like this just because of its obnoxious tone. But we should be skeptical of its ideas too.

Just a note of caution - if anybody attempts to deal with these people, I'd suggest a little practice first, such as trying to convince your local evangelical street-preacher that God does not exist. The parallels will be uncanny.

That essay comes from the cypherpunks list, which is now mostly a kind of fundamentalist rant-fest for "overheated" Libertarian proselytizing. It's mostly harmless stuff, as long as one doesn't take it too seriously (as two people did, but that's a long story).

I've written an essay on the reasoning defects caused by Libertarianism. The basic flaw here, which may not be obvious at first glance, is a strategy I call "Fantasy vs. Reality". The Libertarian proselytizer sets up a fantasy world, and repeatedly tells you how great everything will be in the Kingdom Of Heaven, I mean, techno-crypto-Libertopia. As opposed to how much sin there is on this veil of tears, I mean, the real world. Endlessly. All will be perfect when we run society according to bible law, I mean, contract law. And all which is bad in the world just goes to show the evil of Satan, I mean, government.

See if I'm wrong. Hallelujah!

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in cyberblather | on December 14, 2002 12:33 AM (Infothought permalink) | Followups

Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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