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Re: [freehaven-dev] some food for thought (and argument)

Roger R Dingledine <arma@MIT.EDU> writes:

> generates a desire for privacy is a moralistic one''{\footnote {\tt
> http://hotwired.lycos.com/talk/club/special/transcripts/96-07-11.hughes.html}}.

This word "moralistic" could do with changing.  dict moralist and
moralistic to see why.  I know it's a quotation; it's still unclear.
It's very easy to interpret this section as saying "that argument is
based on morals, so we're ignoring it."

> Privacy in our ordinary lives is something that we take for granted --
> would you be willing to publish your tax return worldwide? What if your
> neighbor published the contents of your garbage on the evening news? Is
> using cryptography to achieve privacy in online activities really any
> different?

There needs to be something before the last sentence.  You're asking
if somebody breaking your privacy in various real-world ways is
different from using crypto to achieve privacy -- of course it is.
Reverse one of them, or put in a bridge sentence about real-world
privacy protection methods (window blinds, paper shredders, etc.).

> Confining to the police or other intelligence agencies the ability to
> collect, correlate, or make use of this information does not help much.
> Building correlations between disparate data sets is a tricky task, and
> the people asking the questions are almost never the ones building the
> databases or doing the queries. Because of this, they don't understand
> the limitations of the data they have available. Government divisions may
> well be required to make a certain quota of profiles matching certain
> constraints, such as `pedophile' or `drug dealer'. If time is short,
> budgets are tight, and relaxing some of the query constraints is much
> easier and cheaper than collecting or verifying more data, the choice
> seems clear. The result of this is that ordinary innocent citizens will
> get targetted as `suspicious' for one reason or another. The transition
> from surveillance state to police state may well be a very subtle one.

The choice seems clear?  Clear as mud... I have no idea what this
paragraph is trying to say.  A second rereading caused me to read "may
well be required" as "may be required by law" instead of "may be
required by the complexity of the problem," which helped some, but
it's still not saying a lot of the things which I'm sure you were
thinking as you wrote it.

On top of that, the last sentence is somewhat alarmist, don't you