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Re: Euro Comm Adopts Privacy Directive (NewsClip)

At 09:45 PM 8/11/95 -0500, Anonymous wrote:
> European Commission Adopts Privacy Directive
> Brussels, Aug. 11, -- The European Commission is now well on
> its way towards affording a high level of protection to
> personal data held on computer systems, following the formal
> adoption of a Directive on the protection of personal data,
> Newsbytes has learned.

This is an even greater threat to privacy and rights than it 
appears.  In addition to the fact that enforcing such a law in a 
world where everyone has computers would require massive 
government intrusion, one must also consider the objective, the 
intent of such a law.   The intent of course is to limit what
we are permitted to know of each other.

In a world where contracts are largely enforced by reputations, 
(for example your visa card), governments can suppress freedom of 
contract by suppressing what information is available.  For 
example bankruptcy laws that violate freedom of contract are in 
part enforced by controlling what information credit bureaus are 
permitted to keep.  Indeed such restrictions are the major goal
of existing restraints on credit bureaus.

So not only does this law require extensive violation of freedom 
and privacy, the intent is also violation of peoples rights.

Both ends and the necessary means are, as usual, similar.

In the long run I do not think such laws can be effective unless 
governments use the same means to suppress privately computer 
mediated communication as the Chinese Empire used to suppress 
private paper mediated communication.  (The Chinese not only 
made paper a state monopoly, but they also castrated anyone 
with knowledge of paper making so that the knowledge would 
not be passed from father to son.)

This very vigorous enforcement did not hold back the tide for 
ever, but it held it back for a long time.
We have the right to defend ourselves	|   http://www.jim.com/jamesd/
and our property, because of the kind	|  
of animals that we are. True law	|   James A. Donald
derives from this right, not from the	|  
arbitrary power of the state.		|   [email protected]