The CCTV challenge

David Young
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The CCTV challenge

This question is mainly for Libitarians, but I'd be interested in replies from any point on the political spectrum.

Suppose that wherever there was a street light there was also a CCTV camera.  None were trained on private property, and all recorded for at least a fortnight before the recordings were deleted (unless a police investigation of the tapes were launched during that time frame).

Can you name a legal activity, harming nobody, which you would not be able to do under such circumstances?

 


ProzacDeathWish
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You would not be harming

  Why is wanting to protect one's privacy considered by some as the threshold of criminal intent ?  The old "what have you got to hide ? "  argument is utter bullshit.   The implication is that if you really are not going to commit criminal acts then you will not object to surveillance.  It's emotional blackmail.

  I have an equally plausible proposition.  Notify all law enforcement personell that every six months they will be required to undergo a polygraph examination in which they will asked if they have engaged in any illegal activities or have knowledge of any other illicit behaviour by fellow officers.  A refusal to to undergo the test or an answer indicating guilt would result in the immediate loss of employment and possible prosecution.   Believe me law enforcement agencies contain  many dirty little secrets.  How many officers would be eager to work under those conditions ?   After all, cops are supposed to be "the good guys"   What have they got to hide ?

 

 

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And your answer?

It hasn't gone unnoticed that you haven't answered the question.

 


MattShizzle
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I'm sure anyone cheating on

I'm sure anyone cheating on their spouse would object. So would homosexuals who are more or less in the closet.

 

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David Young wrote: Can you

David Young wrote:

 

Can you name a legal activity, harming nobody, which you would not be able to do under such circumstances?

 

  What constitutes a "legal activity" can change upon a legislative whim.  Laws can be just or unjust and are not automatically deserving of my cooperation.   Having said that, my objections are not based upon whether or not I could still remain a "law abiding" citizen while being watched by a camera. My objection is rooted in the potential abuse of power.  

You question is too narrowly focused to adequately address issues of more overriding importance.

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David Young
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So the police do that now?

Leaving aside the question of whether cheating on a partner is harmless, I wasn't aware that the police were in charge of policing marriages or outing homosexuals.  How would being unfaithful on camera or appearing on a police tape with a same-sex partner result in anyone who knows you finding out?

As for focus, I'll ask whatever question I like within the rules of the forum.  You can't dictate what lines of enquiry people engage in.

Can anyone name a legal and harmless activity which would be impossible if public places were under 24-hour recorded surveillance?

 


ProzacDeathWish
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David Young wrote: As for

David Young wrote:

 

As for focus, I'll ask whatever question I like within the rules of the forum.  You can't dictate what lines of enquiry people engage in.

 

 

       Nor can you dictate their responses.  Have fun with your thread.

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I'll take that as a 'no'

I'll take that as a 'no' then.

 


ProzacDeathWish
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David Young wrote:I'll take

David Young wrote:

I'll take that as a 'no' then.

 

   So responses to this thread are now limited to "yes" or "no" ?   Wow, you really are a control freak aren't you ? 

   Besides, instead of wasting time replying to me why don't you focus your towering intellect upon the next participant of this thread and then crush them with your inscrutable logic ? 

                           I'll be "watching" your performance with interest.  Toodles ! 

 

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David Young wrote:This

David Young wrote:

This question is mainly for Libitarians, but I'd be interested in replies from any point on the political spectrum.

Suppose that wherever there was a street light there was also a CCTV camera.  None were trained on private property, and all recorded for at least a fortnight before the recordings were deleted (unless a police investigation of the tapes were launched during that time frame).

Can you name a legal activity, harming nobody, which you would not be able to do under such circumstances?

Any protesting or anti-government rallies would be ruined by this kind of surveillance. This would be used to prevent public displays of dissent. Under this kind of system protesting would result in your face being recorded by the camera and then police (or, depending on the type of protest, homeland security) showing up at your home later. This would have a horrible chilling effect on protests and rallies that the government does not like.

I agree with ProzacDeathWish that the opening post is concerned with issues that are barely important in this matter. Not being able to break unjust laws and not being able to travel and live in anomitity is the real issue here. I would rather think about the illegal activities that harm no one that does not consent to them (prostitution, drug buying) that would be prevented by this kind of surveillance.

Being able to anonymously break unjust laws is something that I value. Imagine if we lived in the 1950's and I had a black girlfriend (I'm white) and we lived in a state that had anti-miscegenation laws and the kind of surveillance that you are talking about existed and was used. The police would be paying me visit (and giving me an ass-kicking) concerning my mixed-race relationship. That kind of unjust government enforced morality (yeah, they really claimed that it was immoral to date outside your race) is something that I don't want happening today with anti-drug and anti-prostitution laws. I have never been high and I will never use a prostitute's services, but I can't stand my tax dollars wasted on surveillance and police to crack down on pot heads and guys who pay for blowjobs.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
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Yeah, I forgot about the

Yeah, I forgot about the fact that there are bad laws.


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David Young wrote:This

David Young wrote:
This question is mainly for Libitarians, but I'd be interested in replies from any point on the political spectrum.

Suppose that wherever there was a street light there was also a CCTV camera.  None were trained on private property, and all recorded for at least a fortnight before the recordings were deleted (unless a police investigation of the tapes were launched during that time frame).

Can you name a legal activity, harming nobody, which you would not be able to do under such circumstances?

I am by no means a libertarian, but I would still like to answer the question. 

Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any legal activity which one would not be able to do.  That however is not the problem.  The problem is of who polices the police.  Who and how are those monitoring the cameras kept in line and doing what is supposed to be their jobs rather than abusing the abilities and powers they now have?  In more places and occasions than supporters of cctv's would like to admit have those hired to monitor them abused them with using them for perving, personal amusement and other such activities.  On top of this, there's been numerous occasions where security staff have become physically abusive in their roles and the company whome the cctv cameras were installed for sat on the footage until it was destroyed as part of the normal procedure, stopping the victim from being able to use this footage as they should have been able to.

It is abuse via these two methods which have been too common already, as well as other potential areas for abuse of such systems that makes me against them.

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David Young
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Still boils down to the same thing.

They all seem to be various ways of saying 'no' so far.  And ProzacDeathWish, if your answer is 'yes', there's nothing to stop you giving an example.  It's not as if your answer would be censored.

 

I live in a country where we have this thing called democracy.  It has a reasonably workable system for 'unjust' or 'bad' laws where you put up with them until you manage to convince sufficient people of the legitimacy of changing them.  Some of the checks and balances we have seem to slow down such changes, but no quantity of cameras would ultimately stop a concerted effort to alter legislation.  They might, on the other hand, make it easier to prosecute people after a demonstration that results in stones hurled through windows, cars set on fire, Molotov cocktails thrown at the police and so on.  But then again, in Libertarian Land these are absolutely essential activities, the absence of which will stop the earth rotating on its axis.

 

And what exactly is there to 'perve' on via a CCTV camera which you could not do from a window (and which has probably already been done in better picture quality from a camera hidden in someone's pocket and uploaded onto the internet)?

 

 

 


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I'm again not at all

I'm again not at all Libertarian, but I see this as a severe abuse of privacy. By your logic, why not let them record every room in your house? Why not let them record every phone call you make? Democracy doesn't always work - notice prostitution is still illegal and capitalism is still legal.

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David Young
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Something of a straw man.

The question was about CCTV in public places, not about private places.

The 70mph speed limit on British roads (I don't know what the American maximum is) has a certain logic.  The fact that it would have adverse consequences if it were extended to airport runways is of no major concern to pilots, as the idea does not appear to be on the table anywhere.

 '[My] logic', as you put it, is that public places are not private in the first place.

 


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It's not a straw man - going

It's not a straw man - going by the extremely limited way you are asking the question, what legal activity that doesn't harm others would you be prevented from doing if your entire house was videotaped by the police and ever phone conversation was also recorded by them? There is no national US speed limit (there was until the mid 1990's - it was 55 ) it's made by each individual state.

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David Young wrote:This

David Young wrote:


This question is mainly for Libitarians, but I'd be interested in replies from any point on the political spectrum.

Suppose that wherever there was a street light there was also a CCTV camera.  None were trained on private property, and all recorded for at least a fortnight before the recordings were deleted (unless a police investigation of the tapes were launched during that time frame).

Can you name a legal activity, harming nobody, which you would not be able to do under such circumstances?

 


I for one would be uncomfortable in regards to such a thing and it would definitely reflect in my behavior. For example, I would be unable to show affection (of any kind) towards a loved one with such things at the back of my mind. I would simply become nervous and unable to be myself. (Which could be observed by watching myself in a store. It’s a personal glitch I suppose&hellipEye-wink

But then again, this wouldn't really affect me in the least since I would simply avoid the cities, and I'm sure there would be no justifying such a thing out in the country side (which is where I live). To be honest, I couldn't see this as really being effective outside of anything other than a heavily populated inner city which really excludes the majority here. For example, where I live the only place they could set up would be around the square downtown, and that's about as vacant an area as they get. I mean, what would be the point?

Beyond this there are other relevant objections that should be addressed considering this isn’t the only concern surrounding the CCTV issue.

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Installing these cameras in

Installing these cameras in front of legal sex shops, erotic theaters, gay theaters, gay/lesbian bookstores, gay spas or other stores that people wish to anonymously shop at would kill their business. I bring up gays a lot because that is the group that recently has had Canadian censorship laws unfairly applied on them to shut down their businesses and bookstores. I suppose another weapon that the police could use against gay stores is surveillance and outing those who frequent gay stores. I think that counts as a legal activity that I would not want a bunch of random cops and the people they show the tapes to to know about.

This whole issue is about privacy: people want it, this would destroy it. I want to be able to privately, with no one knowing about it, be able to get my girlfriend a gift from an erotic store. I want gays to be able to discretely visit specialty bookstores. I want all people to be able to live their lives with as little surveillance as possible. I understand that a little surveillance in a few sensitive places is needed (like in front of the White House); but I would hate to live in a society in which my day to day activities and movements were monitored.

 

Quote:

They might, on the other hand, make it easier to prosecute people after a demonstration that results in stones hurled through windows, cars set on fire, Molotov cocktails thrown at the police and so on.

I am against damaging people's property; but if the police try and break up a protest, they need to send to the hospital. Police teach people not to protest by using excessive force on protesters. Everyone who sees some hippy getting maced and then beaten with clubs on the news will know not to protest unless they want to be hurt badly. We as a society need to teach the police in the same way. If the police try and break up a protest, and then are beaten so badly that they can not return to work for a week, they will know not to mess with protesters unless they want to be hurt badly. Of course, having cameras all over would prevent anyone from ever standing up to the police since they would be able to monitor your doing it. And of course corrupt officers would not be harmed by the cameras since they will make sure no one sees the most damning tapes.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
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tothiel wrote:David Young

Double post... Sorry!


David Young
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Public and private

The question was about CCTV in public places.  That  in no way implies the same in private places, so it is a straw man to say that the latter is by the same logic.

 

There are quite a lot of legal things I can do in the privacy of my own home which would become harmfull if they were monitored.  For example, I could discuss the details of a court case with a barrister but would not have the guarantee of anonymity, and thereby cause harm to a possibly innocent person by, for example, prejudicing the outcome of a trial.

In a public place you acknowledge that anyone within earshot is perfectly entitled to listen to whatever they hear and look at whatever is in their field of view.  That's why we call them public places.

 

It's not rocket science, but the question was about public places and not private ones.

 

Having said that, if I were on a government committee and I had to outline the main arguments likely to be put forward by the public against CCTV in public places, the inability of people to make any distinction between what is being proposed and the straw man people like to think is being proposed would make it easier to sell the idea to the electorate.  'For' is the position that can be marketed to people who pride themselves on being able to follow a line of argument.

 


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Not convinced anyone has a

Not convinced anyone has a 'right' to privacy in a public place. You get into a whole world of trouble once that right is established.

Would anyone be allowed to photograph anyone/anything without stricit permission. I believe copyright of a photograph of a person belong with the subject regardless of who took it.

 

 


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Photographs in public places

It may vary from country to country (and I'm only including democratic ones here) but the legal custodian of a picture is usually the person who took it if the person in it gave his/her/their consent.  What is then done with it depends on whether those in the picture gave consent for anything other than private use (so strictly speaking the members of the public seen in the video for 'West End Girls' by Pet Shop Boys could still sue).

 

If a building is visible from public property, anyone has a right to photograph it, and it seems most countries grant them a lot of freedom as to what they then do with it.  The managers of a conference centre in Cardiff asked the British National Party to remove a picture of their building from the BNP's website, to which their leader pointed out that they had no obligation to do so.

 

As regards the earlier post about sex shops, you would still be able to visit them.  If the act is legal, it would not be part of the police's remit to do anything about it anyway.  The same goes for gay bars, strip clubs, even Marillion concerts.

 

 EDIT: Do these boards allow edits in previous posts?  I've just noticed I typed 'libertarian' incorrectly in the first one.

 

 


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You forget that some police

You forget that some police are just as much haters as the general public and would have no problem "outing" people. I agree with the idea that something needs to happen when the police use excessive force. They shouldn't be breaking up peaceful protests at all - of course making sure they don't impede traffic, etc. And they should immediately be fired for using tazers, pepper spray or whatever on someone for just not doing what they say rather than being an actual physical threat.

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David Young wrote:As regards

David Young wrote:

As regards the earlier post about sex shops, you would still be able to visit them.  If the act is legal, it would not be part of the police's remit to do anything about it anyway.  The same goes for gay bars, strip clubs, even Marillion concerts.

If Canadian police will misuse censorship laws to shut down gay bookstores, you can bet they would misuse surveillance to shut down more gay bookstores. I imagine that the US police would do the same thing: use the threat of outing people to kill the business of gay bookstores and gay spas. Just like in some counties the police post pictures of people caught soliciting hookers as a way of shaming people into not soliciting; they could do the same thing for gay spas and sex stores. So you could technically still go where every you wanted to; just don't be surprised when the local registry of perverts the police puts in the news paper has your picture on it because you went into a sex shop or gay bar. For that matter: why the hell are the police allowed to put pictures of men who solicit sex in newspapers and public postings? That is just messed up, the public need not be involved in these men's private sex lives.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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That's a matter for those who make the law.

Most of this is a question of what the laws permit and what they do not.  That is a question for legislators.  It remains the case that you would still be able to do something legal and harmless in a public place.

 

I'm sure it's part of the Libertarian creed that the only protesters who ever resort to violence are otherwise peaceful ones who are aggressively attacked by the police, but this particular creed is as false as the Christian one of 'all atheists are genocidal maniacs at heart on the verge of another mass-murder spree if we let people learn evolution'.  It doesn't take much for people in a demonstration to start attacking police officers.  A sense of self-pity is normally enough.  If that fails, 'I'm attacking an unjust law' is trotted out.

 

Still, interesting to see that one forum member has advocated the use of violence against police officers (there was something about that in the forum rules when I opened my account).  Not that I'd expect a Libertarian moderator to think rules are anything worthwhile.

 

 


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David Young wrote:I'm sure

David Young wrote:

I'm sure it's part of the Libertarian creed that the only protesters who ever resort to violence are otherwise peaceful ones who are aggressively attacked by the police, but this particular creed is as false as the Christian one of 'all atheists are genocidal maniacs at heart on the verge of another mass-murder spree if we let people learn evolution'.  It doesn't take much for people in a demonstration to start attacking police officers.  A sense of self-pity is normally enough.  If that fails, 'I'm attacking an unjust law' is trotted out.

You sure beat the hell out of that straw-man, and sidestepped addressing the issue of police using surveillance to shut down gay bookstores and gay spas like the way they misused Canada's censorship laws to harass gay bookstores.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Well, in the spirit of

Well, in the spirit of workshopping issues, I must ask:

 

What's the goal?

 

If the authorities proposed such a monitoring system, I'd want to know why - in some detail - they wanted such close monitoring (remember: you're the one with the proposal, so it's up to you to justify it; not the other way around). If the reason was vague, I'd certainly be opposed to it because - if nothing else - it would likely be wasteful. If they wanted to monitor a large section of town because of, say, a recent buzz of gang activity, I'd probably support them (assuming they also established a reasonable cut-off timetable for the surveillance.

I'm not a fan of 'policing for the sake of policing', more often than not done by police departments to raise money by dishing-out fines (or, in some cases, because the officers in question have superiority complexes and want to show people who's boss). It creates an adversarial relationship between the public and law enforcement (which is atrocious), waste time & energy and promotes poor police conduct.

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I think police that assault

I think police that assault peaceful protesters deserve whatever is coming to them, including long range sniper bullets between the eyes. Or even a small nuclear device detonated outside their station (say 1/4 of a KT. ) Being a cop doesn't give them dictatorial powers even though a few bad apples think so. I have nothing but respect for the majority of cops who work too hard for too little dealing with pieces of shit, but the bad ones shouldn't be protected.

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MattShizzle wrote:I think

MattShizzle wrote:

I think police that assault peaceful protesters deserve whatever is coming to them, including long range sniper bullets between the eyes. Or even a small nuclear device detonated outside their station (say 1/4 of a KT. ) Being a cop doesn't give them dictatorial powers even though a few bad apples think so. I have nothing but respect for the majority of cops who work too hard for too little dealing with pieces of shit, but the bad ones shouldn't be protected.

Nah, don't use explosives: the shrapnel might hurt innocent people (also, I assume you were kidding anyways, I hope no one hear is advocating the use of nukes). As for cops who beat the living shit out of some random hippy just because the hippy is waving an anti-war sign and yelling a lot: yes, they do deserve to be hurt very badly. If I maced and clubbed someone for expressing leftist ideologies as a protest I would be sent to jail for quite a while, but when three cops are clubbing someone on the ground at a protest they get away with it. I like how police try and protect people and solve murders and whatnot: but they really need to stop clubbing people while being recorded on cameras. I've seen too many videos of protesters in a fetal position on the ground being beaten by more than one cop. What is it about protests that brings out the worst in some police officers? And when I advocate violence against police I obviously only mean against the few that are hopelessly corrupt and are caught in the act of beating non-violent protesters. That being said: any protester who damages private property deserves to be sent to jail and any police officer who is not hopelessly corrupt should not be harmed. If anyone disagrees with me you are free to defend the actions of police that beat non-violent protesters. And of course: if there was surveillance, the police would make sure the videos of them going crazy on some hippy would not get out.

This is why I have mixed feelings about leftists: I don't like most of their economic stances, but they seem to be the only ones willing to go out and protest things that they don't like. I respect their willingness to be vocal, and if I try hard enough I can even find agreement with them on some issues.

 

MattShizzle wrote:

I have nothing but respect for the majority of cops who work too hard for too little dealing with pieces of shit

Seriously, how do they find the patience to deal with drunken white trash and domestic disputes all the time? Those non-corrupt police officers deserve our respect.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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I stand by everything I

I stand by everything I said, and by the way I SO wish someone would detonate a nuke anywhere between 1/4 KT and 2 KT right outside the NY stock exchange. I might even have a kind word for Al Quaeda if they did that as much as I'm against them normally. Wiping out the fuckwads that run capitalism would deserve a kind word.

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If you try and kill

If you try and kill capitalists, won't they just try and kill you back? If the far-left ever tried to do this kind of a violent revolution I would be killing people like you in the streets. Not that I am threatening you: its just if there ever was that kind of an attempt to overthrow society and end capitalism I would be fighting for the capitalists and my economic freedoms.

Let me say again: I am NOT threatening Matt, I am not going to kill any leftists and I do NOT advocate killing people as a means of changing our economy. Its just when he brings up how he would like the capitalists to be killed, I hope he understands how much people like me would be fighting for our lives and freedom if such a thing happened. I hope no such revolution ever takes place. It would be a bloodbath. Everyone would loose. I stand by my saying that blowing up government buildings is a BAD idea. People like Mark and the dominionists make me regularly visit a gun range. No offense Mark: I don't mean to start a internet pissing match or flame war with you; I would like to keep this cordial. But in any attempt to "wipe out the fuckwads that run capitalism," I and many other Americans would be desperately fighting to maintain our economic freedoms (which sadly would probably mean killing people like you; what a grim thread this has become).

And as a bit of advice: if there was such a revolution, no one should start using nukes. A nuclear civil war would literally destroy us all. And don't think that just one would be detonated. Once you open that Pandora's box it doesn't shut.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Just to remind you

Jormungander, in post 17 you used the words:

"but if the police try and break up a protest, they need to send to the hospital."

and

"If the police try and break up a protest, and then are beaten so badly that they can not return to work for a week, they will know not to mess with protesters unless they want to be hurt badly."

That sounds like advocating violence to me.  There are circumstances under which the police have the legal right to break up a protest (e.g. if planning permission for it has not been granted).

And at the risk of repeating myself, I said it was a matter for the legislators what particular laws were and, by implication, who is allowed to do what with them.  That seems to cover the Canadian issue.

 


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I'm curious

Young,

I see you've addressed Jormungander by examining single sentences he wrote. So don't feel ruffled as I do similar....

 

your post 12) "But then again, in Libertarian Land these are absolutely essential activities, the absence of which will stop the earth rotating on its axis."

your post 24) "Not that I'd expect a Libertarian moderator to think rules are anything worthwhile."

 

Seems to me your drive was less the OP you thought you posed and more of an attack upon Libertarians with cheap crap like above. If you need to vent, just vent.

 

And as to your questionS...

 

your threadstarter)  "Can you name a legal activity, harming nobody, which you would not be able to do under such circumstances?"

your post 5) "As for focus, I'll ask whatever question I like within the rules of the forum.  You can't dictate what lines of enquiry people engage in.

Can anyone name a legal and harmless activity which would be impossible if public places were under 24-hour recorded surveillance?"

 

So why did you change the question ? Did you reconsider and think you should focus differently ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Change? What change?

I don't see how the question has been changed.

Can you name something legal and harmless you couldn't do if all public places were being monitored?

Another way of wording it but it's the same question.

 

I might one day find a Libertarian poster on one of these forums who openly states that there are examples of violent political demonstrations whose violence has not been provoked by any violence from the police, but so far I haven't.

 


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David Young wrote:I don't

David Young wrote:

I don't see how the question has been changed.

Can you name something legal and harmless you couldn't do if all public places were being monitored?

Another way of wording it but it's the same question.

 

I might one day find a Libertarian poster on one of these forums who openly states that there are examples of violent political demonstrations whose violence has not been provoked by any violence from the police, but so far I haven't.

I think I posted above that protesters who destroy property deserve to be imprisoned. Sometimes protesters go crazy. We all know that. Also, sometimes the protesters are peaceful and the police go crazy. We all know that too. Your post implies that all libertarians deny that any protester could be violent. Does it count as straw-manning libertarians again if it is just an implication? Also I already answered your question. You keep repeating it as though no one has answered it. Just in case you didn't see my response to it:

Jormungander wrote:

If Canadian police will misuse censorship laws to shut down gay bookstores, you can bet they would misuse surveillance to shut down more gay bookstores. I imagine that the US police would do the same thing: use the threat of outing people to kill the business of gay bookstores and gay spas. Just like in some counties the police post pictures of people caught soliciting hookers as a way of shaming people into not soliciting; they could do the same thing for gay spas and sex stores. So you could technically still go where every you wanted to; just don't be surprised when the local registry of perverts the police puts in the news paper has your picture on it because you went into a sex shop or gay bar.

And again earlier:

Jormungander wrote:

Installing these cameras in front of legal sex shops, erotic theaters, gay theaters, gay/lesbian bookstores, gay spas or other stores that people wish to anonymously shop at would kill their business. I bring up gays a lot because that is the group that recently has had Canadian censorship laws unfairly applied on them to shut down their businesses and bookstores. I suppose another weapon that the police could use against gay stores is surveillance and outing those who frequent gay stores. I think that counts as a legal activity that I would not want a bunch of random cops and the people they show the tapes to to know about.

Your response to this was that you could still use these shops if you wanted to. That is true, but police have a tendency in some regions to shame people who do certain activities by publicizing those people's actions (like people who are caught talking to hookers). It is not as though cameras will physically prevent you from entering businesses of a sexual nature, it is just entering such businesses is a good example of a legal activity that most people would not do if they were constant monitored in public. Not to mention the harmless (harmless to those who choose not to engage in them anyways) illegal activities like buying weed or sex that people do that would be prevented by this kind of monitoring.

Also let us not forget that it is not up to us to prove that monitoring people is a bad thing. It is up to those in favor of monitoring to prove that is a good and cost effective program. Before destroying my anomitity in public you will need to present a pretty solid justification of it.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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David Young wrote:And at the

David Young wrote:

 

And at the risk of repeating myself, I said it was a matter for the legislators what particular laws were and, by implication, who is allowed to do what with them.  That seems to cover the Canadian issue. 

I really don't see how that does. Canadian police driving gay/lesbian bookstores out of business in not just some issue that is left up to legislators. The police were clearly abusing certain anti-obscenity laws to prevent gay/lesbian bookstores from importing books concerning sexuality. That is just misusing laws to drive business that the police don't like out of business. Altering their anti-obscenity laws to allow the police to stretch the definition of what is obscene was their first mistake. Sadly it was actually feminists (and ironically a certain lesbian feminist in particular) who got legislators to alter the laws in the hopes that it would allow police to crack down on legal distributors of porn. The feminists seem not to have thought that perhaps the average police officer enjoys watching porn and is not going to drive those places out of business. On the other hand some police officers apparently do not like gays: so arming them with new abilities to block or seize imports of books about sexuality was the perfect way for them to interfere with the business of gay/lesbian bookstores.

Things like this are just an example that we should learn from. We need to have airtight justifications for expanding police powers. We should never just hand over new powers of seizure or surveillance to the police without a great need to. Like I said: no one needs to prove that mass surveillance is bad, the proponents of it need to prove that it is good and not monatarily wasteful.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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David Young wrote:I don't

David Young wrote:

I don't see how the question has been changed.

Can you name something legal and harmless you couldn't do if all public places were being monitored? Another way of wording it but it's the same question.

 

It's not at all the same question.

If you're going to pretend to be this dense, I see no point coming back to this thread.

 Dope harming nobody...then... harmless activity  ???

 

David Young wrote:
I might one day find a Libertarian poster on one of these forums who openly states that there are examples of violent political demonstrations whose violence has not been provoked by any violence from the police, but so far I haven't.

Thanks for toning down your previous love of Libertarians. Good luck on your thread.

 


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I would see almost anything

I would see almost anything as worth it if it would destroy capitalism.


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You can still do it.

Whether you still would do something is beside the point.  My point is that you still could do it.

Whether your shopping list for the week would be the same if everyone and anyone could see an inventory of items you bought doesn't change the fact that it wouldn't make it impossible for you to buy them.

'I can't go into shop X without someone who sees me doing so making use of that information' is not the same as 'I can't go into shop X'.

 

As for any kind feelings towards Libertarians, I have about as much respect for Libertarianism as I have for the average tuppence-ha'penny, university-student, single-issue-politics protest group, or Evangelical pressure group for that matter.

 


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David Young wrote:Can you

David Young wrote:

Can you name a legal activity, harming nobody, which you would not be able to do under such circumstances?

Living Free

 

Seriously... i have wild delusional thoughts about become a tyrannical overlord of earth and not even i would attempt shit like this

What Would Kharn Do?


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David Young wrote:This

David Young wrote:

This question is mainly for Libitarians, but I'd be interested in replies from any point on the political spectrum.

Suppose that wherever there was a street light there was also a CCTV camera.  None were trained on private property, and all recorded for at least a fortnight before the recordings were deleted (unless a police investigation of the tapes were launched during that time frame).

Can you name a legal activity, harming nobody, which you would not be able to do under such circumstances?

 


I wouldn't be able to smoke a joint. Doesn't harm anyone.

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There are legal things

There are legal things people wouldn't feel comfortable doing if they knew they were being videotaped.  This should be perfectly obvious.  Regardless of promises that the tapes are destroyed after two weeks, or that no one looks at them unless a crime is reported (neither of which would certainly be the case in reality), people act differently when they know they're being videotaped.  Perhaps someone wouldn't feel comfortable performing a public display of affection?  People may not feel comfortable attempting to get through an intersection with a camera trained on vehicles (People break a law for running a red light, but they're also avoiding rear-end collisions caused by stopping to avoid getting caught on camera).  Protesters may be made to feel like they can't protest or demonstrate as they like, even when the activity is legal.  Even the most mundane things that people do in public could be curtailed by such video cameras.  I am sure there are other examples that you could come up with on your own.

What about illegal things that people do in public that are harmless to either themselves or others?  That is, people who smoke pot while taking a stroll, or pick up a John, or a trick.  (There are prostitutes who use my relatively quiet side street here in the gay district of Canada's largest city as a point for making transactions and I would rather them be here, unfilmed and relatively safe, than for them to have to move off to another, potentially dangerous area to commit their 'crimes'.  It's gone nearly as far as cameras to control prostitution in this area, but the community even discouraged extra police patrols and private filming of the streets to let the perfectly harmless prostitutes stay.) Television cameras could put an end to harmless jay-walking (jay-walking is illegal).

The point is that surveilance of the public curbs behaviour that people would do, legal or illegal, simply because of the way that being filmed affects people's behaviour.  A point in case that being filmed does affect people's behaviour is that when surveilance is installed in areas prone to severe and violent crime, crime rates fall in that area (and sometimes rise in adjacent areas).  That's not surveilance for the sake of it though and I'll bet that if no one knew the cameras were unwatched or non-functional (which they sometimes are) crime rates would have fallen anyhow. 

But where are you proposing the cameras go?  Right now they tend to be employed in areas rife with crime or in busy urban centres at intersections trafficed by thousands of people.  Are these proposed cameras supposed to survey every street in a city?  Would they actually be effective at their purpose (which is?) or would they serve only as a psychological barrier effectively limiting the legitimate freedoms of people to do what they wish regardless of the law?

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"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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The biggest problem is that

The biggest problem is that the last 10-20 years have proved conclusively that such information, once recorded, cannot be kept from the public. There have been far too many breaches of security in the highest levels of government and commerce, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that any information obtained by such devices can be used maliciously against innocent and unsuspecting individuals. Nothing can stop it.

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David Young wrote:As for any

David Young wrote:

As for any kind feelings towards Libertarians, I have about as much respect for Libertarianism as I have for the average tuppence-ha'penny, university-student, single-issue-politics protest group, or Evangelical pressure group for that matter.

What is a 'tuppence-ha'penny?' Is that some non-American term, or is everyone one else as befuddled as I am? I didn't realize that libertarians were like single issue groups. I thought that libertarianism was a very broad and varied political ideology; as broad and varied as conservatism or progressivism. Though I am afraid that I am one of those tuppence-ha'penny university-students that you lack respect for. What did us tuppence-ha'penny university-students ever do to you?

But seriously: does anyone here know what tuppence-ha'penny even means?

 

David Young wrote:

it wouldn't make it impossible for you to buy them.

We are all in agreement there. I believe that in an earlier post I said that you would still be physically able to enter a sex shop or a gay bookstore. It is just that now almost no one would: because they might end up letting everyone know about their private purchases thanks to the kind of surveillance you describe.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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  I believe the difference

  I believe the difference in opinion here is founded in our different cultures.  Americans have been taught to maintain a healthy suspicion of government in general.  Our country was formed by those who rejected the political tyrany of their former home ( ie, Britain ) and through a violent revolution threw off the stifling influence of Britain's government.  Our ForeFathers were revolutionaries and, in the eyes of the British Crown, were nothing more that criminals who needed to be either killed or imprisoned.   In the mind of colonial era Americans the attitude was not that the people should fear the government, but that the government should fear the people.

 

   However in Britain the attitude among the majority seems to be that it is their duty to submit to any and all levels of government intrusion because it is allegedly "for their own good".   I suspect that their is no degree of government control that these passive invertebrates would resist.   I predict that in Britain as the years go by the level of civil liberties will continue to be terminated at the whim of their leaders.  And most, but not all, will simply comply with their political masters and happily live their lives with a leash around their neck....because, you know, the British government would never dream of becoming a police state.

 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

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I have not seen this to be

I have not seen this to be true. Blair lost power because he didn't listen to the people. And it is the USA which has seen a massive erosion of civil liberties, not Britain.

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Vastet wrote:I have not seen

Vastet wrote:
I have not seen this to be true. Blair lost power because he didn't listen to the people. And it is the USA which has seen a massive erosion of civil liberties, not Britain.

I love saying things and seeing them proven wrong, at least partially, within minutes. The US was 1 thing. The US, Canada, and England at the same time is something else. I'm beginning to put seious thought into revolt when and if it becomes necessary.

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Ah, yes. Drivers.

If a driver rear-ends you it is because they are doing something illegal (speeding, not maintaining the propper stopping distance etc).  It's an example of a crime that people get away with because it's so difficult to get evidence that is admissible in court.  That's one thing more surveillance would help with.

You may be interested to know that road deaths are the tenth biggest killer worldwide, according to WHO figures.  Sadly for Libertarians, being seen on a CCTV camera doesn't make the top ten.  Still, at least you have the freedom to kill, and that's the main thing, isn't it?

 

Tuppence ha'penny is the same as 'they're ten a penny'.  By the way, although I'm still a British citizen I don't live there any more.

 

Why do I want CCTV?  Put it this way, if it were suggested that all public places were going to be covered by it, I can only think of cost as a possible objection.  If it didn't cost me any more taxes then I certainly wouldn't voice the slightest objection, or change much about how I acted in public places (the one change being that I might alter my route home so as to be in the CCTV zones).

 


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Still makes it too easy to

Still makes it too easy to abuse the information, merely by it existing in the first place. I see potential safety in it as you do, but the risk I find unacceptable. I'm not a Libertarian though.

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David Young wrote:Still, at

David Young wrote:

Still, at least you have the freedom to kill, and that's the main thing, isn't it?

This is the first time that I have seen a straw-man/accusation of being murderers. It is a little over the top. I really wonder what libertarians did to Young to make him so angry at us. I really think you should tone down the vitriol David. Do you really think we value our "freedom to kill?" I though that "don't initiate force except in self defense" was a mantra for many libertarians.

 

David Young wrote:

I can only think of cost as a possible objection.

Cost, police abuse and loss of privacy. The last two parts are the important ones. But yes, this would also give the government a new excuse to frivolously waste money (while destroying some of our privacy, it would be a win-win for all!).

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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He seems to hold the

He seems to hold the misconception that as long as you aren't physically prevented from doing something it is ok. Imagine if the government didn't place any restrictions on abortion, but put the name, home address and photo of every woman that had one on a website? No, that wouldn't physically prevent a woman from getting one, but do you really think many wouldn't feel very intimidated against doing so?

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