It is poor civic hygiene to install technologies that could someday facilitate a police state.
Page 53, Secrets & Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World
[Schneier was referring to a national registry of encryption keys but it also applies to a registry of guns, printers, computers, and their owners.—Joe]
Eew! Could we not use “civic hygiene”? It sounds so very “Early 20th Century Progressive” (to use Hillary’s words, describing herself).
Anyway, technologies don’t make police states, people make police states.
If we’re going to discuss “civic hygiene” then, we’d need to explore the ways in which a moral society would prevent any and all forms of authoritarianism from being represented in, and taking root in, government.
There are several positive indicators which can be used to identify it, but ultimately I don’t see how it would be possible (which is to say, by the design of some system to be passed down through generations) to keep it clean out for very long. So long as most people are raised and educated in an authoritarian system (and practically all of us are) it will be especially impossible. Most of us would have a difficult time even defining it, even now, I’m guessing, and would have an even far more difficult time defining its opposite, or it’s absence.
I should say that I was corrected recently, in the use of the term. Two different people pointed out to me that there are two authorities.
Also it should be pointed out that many a police state has existed quite effectively without the use of electronics. The ability to sharpen a stick, for example, would be enough “technology” to facilitate a police state.
The police state is a state of mind, People. Understand that first. Then we can talk.
I think “poor civic hygene” was appropriate phrasing considering the subject matter.
It would be a poor citizen who gave universal access to the government to violate the fourth amendment rights of his fellow citizens. Would we dare call such person a citizen?
Being a good citizen is a vastly different thing than being a good subject.