06 March 2008

I´ll show you mine if you show me yours

I ought to just stick a feed in here directly from Bruce Schneier´s column at Wired. Today he points out why it´s not okay to reveal everything to the gubmint, and why it is okay to get the gubmint to reveal everything to the public.

If I disclose information to you, your power with respect to me increases. One way to address this power imbalance is for you to similarly disclose information to me. We both have less privacy, but the balance of power is maintained. But this mechanism fails utterly if you and I have different power levels to begin with.

As an addendum, here´s another article at Wired about more gubmint wiretapping. Actually, that makes it sound tame. How about ¨wholesale surveillance¨?

1 comment:

  1. Followup: David Brin posted a rebuttal to Scheier's article. You'd think they were arguing, but I see a common thread - Individuals have given too much power to "power groups" as Brin calls them, which then creates an imbalance. If we assume that this situation continues, as Scheier appears to, then it makes sense that a transparent society wouldn't work for the common man. If, however, we took that power away from the gubmint, then a transparent society would be much more viable. A gubmint with little power has little need to collect personal information, however, which would put us back into what I'm thinking of as "privacy equilibrium" and negating the need for a transparent society in the first place.

    End conclusion - reduce the power of the gubmint, and most of these discussions become moot.