[ExI] Perjury

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Fri Oct 5 00:16:49 UTC 2018



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of John Clark
Subject: Re: [ExI] Perjury


On Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 5:29 PM <spike at rainier66.com <mailto:spike at rainier66.com> > wrote:


> we have given away the presumption of innocence


>…Yes, and good riddance too for everything except a criminal trial!...the burden of proof is on  Kavanaugh…


The problem with that notion is that we all now have virtual accusations, all of us, women included.  If we put the burden of proof on the accused, we have just doomed the supreme court to an untimely end, for no one, including Ruth Bader Ginsberg, can prove she didn’t rape somebody when she was a teen.



>…And Spike I just have to ask, would you be saying all this if  Kavanaugh was a liberal…John K Clark 



In the current weird situation, I have little interest in traditional left vs right.  If you look at that epic 2016 US election season, neither of the mainstream party candidates were clearly left or right.  Think about that for a minute.


In my mind, the critical questions before us now are how we are going to handle 4th amendment questions.  This also doesn’t break along traditional left vs right in the USA.  Currently this cultural civil war is over things that the Supreme Court is quite unlikely to touch: gun laws and abortion laws.  In the middle of all the noise, we have surprisingly little discussion on how the 4th amendment protects email.


So think about it: the US government may not open our letters.  It may look at who we address them to, and who it is from, and perhaps how thick is the envelope.  This is metadata.  So the US government has claimed the right to collect metadata, which I agree fits with the 4th amendment.  But now… 


Now we have a new wrinkle.  This FISA court allows the federal government to read someone’s email if it gets a warrant.  But now we can see a huge danger: that the authority could be abused for political purposes.  A warrant could be issued based on phony evidence motivated by political considerations.  A warrant could be issued on person Alpha based on evidence against person Beta because persons Alpha and Beta are communicating with each other.  Person Beta is a politician, so a warrant against Beta would appear to be politically motivated, but getting a warrant against Alpha is a virtual warrant against Beta.


This is a critical question for our times.  Email is unlike paper mail: often email contains communications from both parties, whereas paper mail does not.  So a warrant against Beta is an indirect way of spying on Alpha.


This may have happened already.  Where we are now is deciding what we are going to do about it.  If we do nothing, then it is a green light for the current power holders to do likewise.  I can think of some really good reasons why this is a really bad idea.


This is the question for our times.  It isn’t guns, it isn’t abortion, those are distractions from the critical question of what powers we going to give government for reading email and how we prevent that from being abused for political purposes.




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