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Human rights versus public safety - The Paranoid Android — LiveJournal
...musings of a mechanically depressed robot...
Human rights versus public safety
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sassylidge From: sassylidge Date: May 19th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't really know where the line is between what's acceptable and not acceptable, but I believe that there should be discussion that involves the People or the People's representatives over what is right or wrong. What makes me angry over the collecting of telephone records isn't so much that they are using those records to create a db of who's making what calls (although I don't really like that); it's the fact that they didn't ask permission to do so first. They need to follow the rules - and if there aren't rules then create some before just doing what they want in the name of "safety".

It gets dangerous to say "I'm not doing anything wrong, they won't come after me." and then give the government power to do whatever they like because in the future a government with too much power can decide that they don't like something that you are doing and toss you in jail or whatever.

It's the whole "boiling a frog" scenario. If you place a frog in cold water and gently raise the heat, it will boil to death and not jump out of the pot. I just want the government to be questioned every step of the way so we don't find ourselves in a pot of boiling water, y'know?

I think in the next 20 years, one of the biggest issues that people are going to revolt over is the handling of personal data - both by governments and by corporations. Who has the right to your data? Is there a right to privacy? That sort of thing. These are questions that have come up in the past, but it's only been in the last ten years that the ability to basically track everyone in the Western World has come into being.

Okay, I'll stop now! lol
paranoidandroid From: paranoidandroid Date: May 22nd, 2006 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure asking the people would be any good... after all "the people" have been know to decide on some rather suspect stuff in the last 100 years or so. If there is one word that can sum up a large mob of people it would be "Dumb." This is why democracies are not as effective as they should be - for every informed voter there are probably 4 who vote based on spin or looks. Every person has a right to vote - even the really stupid ones.

The peoples representatives would work if there were some way to ensure they would make their decisions in the peoples best interests and not their own. I can't remember who said "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" but it appears to be true.

Here in the UK we have a "Data Protection Act" which prevents people who don't need to know accessing personal data. How well this is enforced, and who makes sure the law are not the ones abusing the privilege is another matter... we come right back to "who watches the watchman!"

I have heard that "boil a frog" thing recently although from where escapes me. It is a perfect analogy to the creeping infractions of human rights that both the UK and USA seem to be moving toward.
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