[Politech] Cato's Adam Thierer criticizes EPIC's anti-Google "lunacy" [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Fri Apr 30 2004 - 06:40:35 PDT

  • Next message: Declan McCullagh: "[Politech] Why the "Gmail scanning incoming email" argument is a red herring [priv]"

    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: RE: [Politech] EPIC letter compares Gmail to FBI's Carnivore, 
    Total Information Awareness [priv]
    Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 09:16:54 -0400
    From: Adam Thierer <athierer@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    Oh brother, I can't take this lunacy from the privacy absolutists anymore:
    (1) What part of VOLUNTARY is it that these privacy fundamentalists do 
    not understand? How many times and in how many ways must it be said: YOU 
    (2) Second, these privacy absolutists persistently attempt to equate 
    private sector privacy concerns and government privacy violations. There 
    is a world of difference between the two and it basically comes down to 
    the fact that governments hold guns to our heads and coercively force us 
    to do certain things against our will. That is the real Big Brother 
    problem. Google, by contrast, isn't holding a gun to anyone's head and 
    forcing them to sign up.
    (3) If you're concerned about how government might co-opt this service 
    for its own nefarious ends, that is not a Google problem, that is a Big 
    Government problem. Let's work together to properly limit the 
    surveillance powers of government instead of shutting down any new 
    private service or technology that we feel the feds might have to chance 
    to abuse.
    (4) Final point about these privacy fanatics: Do they not believe in 
    freedom of contract? Do I or do I not have a right to contract with a 
    company to exchange certain forms of personal information for a the 
    right to free e-mail access and storage? Can I not VOLUNTARILY agree to 
    such a deal? If not, then I fear that there are a heck of lot of things 
    in this world that these people would make illegal in the name of 
    "protecting privacy."
    Do they believe that companies like Google will - - out of the goodness 
    of their hearts - - just hand over free e-mail services and massive 
    storage capacity to everyone without anything in exchange? There is no 
    free lunch in this world but Google is giving us about the closest thing 
    to it. And yet, the privacy fanatics want to reject that offer on the 
    behalf over everyone in society. Well guess what EPIC... you don't speak 
    for me and a lot of other people in this world who will be more than 
    happy to cut this deal with Google. So do us a favor and don't ask the 
    government to shut down a service just because you don't like it. 
    Privacy is a subjective condition and your value preferences are not 
    representative of everyone else's values in our diverse nation. Stop 
    trying to coercively force your values and choices on others. We can 
    decide these things on our own, thank you very much.
    - - Adam Thierer, Director of Telecommunications Studies, Cato Institute
    Politech mailing list
    Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
    Moderated by Declan McCullagh (http://www.mccullagh.org/)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 30 2004 - 06:52:29 PDT