It is bad for an imperfect government to be able to predict all crime. Some of the greatest steps forward in human history were only made possible by people being able to hide information from their government. If the church had access to Galileo’s research journals and notes we could be hundreds of years behind in our scientific growth. If the government had unlimited access to the networks of civil dissidents blacks may have never fought off Jim Crow. If King George had perfect information America would never have been a country. There is no government on earth that is perfect, and therefore there is no government on earth that can act responsibly with unlimited access to information. A government is unlikely to be able to distinguish between a negative and positive disruption to it’s social order and laws, and it therefore follows that an unlimited spying program can only hinder the next great social step forward. Don’t fear the surveillance state because you might have something illegal, fear the surveillance state because it is a tremendous institutional barrier to meaningful societal progress.
December 16, 2016
Reddit comment to Congress Slips CISA Into a Budget Bill That’s Sure to Pass
[Via email from Jaime.—Joe]
Those who need to know already know what this means: