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Re: Spooks and Hackers, etc.
>Brad Dolan writes
>>"We need to see that police are surfing the Internet just as other people
>>are," Doyle said. "This is a good example of where the law is slower than
>Duh! Isn't the law *supposed* to be slower than technology? It would
>take a *complete* idiot to try to make a law about, say, intelligent
>programs or uploads or whatever. It's when law wants to be *faster*
>than technology that we get stupidity like the CDA.
I'm somewhat suprised that a police force would be talking in these terms, in
the UK the police have been looking at USEnet et al for over a decade.
I don't think the CDA has anything to do with the law keeping up, its the
opposite. Its about cynical and unscrupulous politicians using public ignorance
to portray themselves as the saviours of society. First create a straw man then
All the net is doing is exposing the weakness of the press. Events like the
cyberporn scandal simply illustrate the normal modus-operandi, they are not
abberations caused by `poor journalism'. It is worth reading Chomsky's analysis
of the press. If one excludes the anti-establishment attacks the underlying
thesis is consistent with observation. The established press is not pro-active
but reactive, it does not seek to inform but to entertain. Facts are checked for
acceptability and plausibility rather than for accurracy.
It is here that the most potent effects of the Web will be found. There is now
an international normative infrastructure. It is much harder for a political
system to sustain a stocoma. Consider, Lybia is accussed of involvement in the
Pan Am/Lockerbie bombing, despite the fact that the evidence is tenuous and that
the US was until recently accusing Syria of having authored the crime there is a
call for international sactions. On the other hand it is the tenth aniversary of
the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior and the murder of one of its crew by the
French Secret service. Far from appologising for this crime and imprisoning
those responsible France has even decorated one of the murderers.
Consider also the insistence on the Japanese appologising for World War II
despite the lack of an equivalent appology by the British for their imperial
conquests or the US for their attack on Vietnam.
Exposing the international nature of attrocity weakens its power to coerce a
population into externalising conflict. It is scarcely controvertial that were
the true facts of the Iraqui invasion of Kewait to be generally known the Iraqui
population would have considerably less support for Saddam.
International communication will weaken nationalist ties and isolationism. It
will no longer be possible to present issues in the same moral famework, ie a
frameworkin which "right" is automatically equated with self-interest.