[ExI] the ambiguously evil british have leaked julian assange's address

spike spike66 at att.net
Thu Dec 16 00:57:41 UTC 2010

... On Behalf Of Ryan Rawson
Subject: Re: [ExI] the ambiguously evil british have leaked julian assange's

>...Kind of different, one is court documents regarding a private
individual, the other is bureaucratic documents about government
officials.   I think it's possible to believe in governmental transparency
and privacy rights for individuals without being hypocritical...

Ja, but of course there is that ambiguous intersection between individual's
privacy rights and government transparency, with this being a perfect
example.  In most cases in the US, criminal court proceedings are considered
public domain.  But generally no one digs thru court records to find
anything specific.  On the other hand in this wonderful age of government
transparency, anyone could go find anyone else's court records and leak them
to Wikileaks.

I can see so many ironic results.  Suppose Wikileaks wants to out some
government scoundrel, so the scoundrel gets a 100 page document that she
wrote, changes a few names in order to implicate someone else she doesn't
like, then somewhere inserts the sentence "Julian Assange's address is
{yakkity yak and bla bla}" then leaks the document anonymously to Wikileaks.
The staff at Wikileaks can't read everything, but this looks good, so they
post it.  A thousand people each read a piece here and a piece there,
someone eventually discovers the sentence, and Julian outs himself

This is a wildly complicated issue.  I have seen oversimplifications to good
or bad, seen it everywhere, even on this list.  Ignoring the whole rape
thing, which sounds bogus to me, Julian is still an ambiguously good guy and
a bad guy simultaneously.

Perhaps Damien or one of the other SF hipsters can identify a story that I
read a looooong time ago, over 30 yrs I think, where Asimov deals with this
exact issue.  A scientist discovers some wonderful algorithm which allows
him to regressively calculate quantum states to figure out exactly what
happened at any given place at any time past.  He shows it to a colleague
who shows it to someone else, but government goons find out and chase and
catch one of them, who warns the other two, who flee in terror, and each
tell someone else.  By the time the chase scene is over, the evil government
goons have rounded up about 30 guys and have them all in custody.  Last
scene, the head evil goon says something like "We have all of you now, but
we have plenty of reason to think the secret has not been fully contained.
So there is no point in killing you.  You are all free to go.  From now on,
no one has any privacy, present or past.  There are no secrets anywhere ever
again.  Welcome to your new world gentlemen, and may you all rot in hell."

Damien, ever heard of it?


On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 3:30 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> "...WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tried to hide his bail address 
> from the public in an astonishing move for the man responsible for 
> leaking thousands of diplomatic secrets..."
> http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1338832/WikiLeaks-Julian-Assan
> ge-ask
> ed-judge-bail-address-secret.html
> Wait a minute, this isn't a good thing.  It is only good when the 
> privacy of the bad guy is violated.  When the good guy's privacy is 
> subjected to involuntary transparency, then is a bad thing, ja?  When 
> the guy who de-closeted the bad guy is himself thrown out of the 
> closet, then we need to determine who is the good guy and who is the 
> bad guy, in order to decide if privacy is a good thing or a bad thing.
> Who is evil in this case, the British judge or Assange?  What if some 
> bastard had leaked Julian's address to Wikileaks, and Julian didn't 
> notice it was in there, mixed with a ream of other text, so he 
> accidentally outed himself against his own will?  Then is he good or 
> bad?  This determines if he deserves his privacy or needs the disinfectant
of sunlight.
> Of course we don't know if the address is real or a clever 
> diversionary tactic.
> Oh this is fun.  {8^D
> spike
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