Idea for LPSF brochure


You asked:

Do you object to that entire paragraph, or just certain parts of it?

Private businesses should be permitted to use cameras and chips if they wish. Prohibiting this is the part I object to.

Did you read my response to Derek on the subject?


Don't you think that Libertarians should speak out against the practice of individuals and businesses colluding with government in tightening the noose of the police state, even when such collusion may fall within their rights under the Non-Aggression Principle? <

Voluntarily colluding with the state violates the NAP, as would colluding with the Mafia or with al Qaeda. Yes, let's speak out against this.

Best, Michael


  On the one hand, you say that private businesses should be permitted to use cameras and (RFID) chips. On the other hand, you say that voluntarily colluding with the state violates the Non-Aggression Principle.

  These two positions, as I see it, are not entirely compatible. In the current climate, I believe that a private company collecting sensitive information on people and making that information available to government amounts to collusion with government unless the company is prepared to fight any government demand to turn over data, and to strongly and publicly object to any such demand.

  As to whether or not it should be *illegal* for businesses to use cameras and RFID chips, I personally think it should probably be legal, but only within strict limitations. For instance I think there should be at minimum a labeling requirement to notify people when products contain tracking chips; ideally, products should also contain instructions on how to remove or disable the chips. I also think it should probably be illegal to mount a fixed camera in such a way that it records the movement of people on public property or on other peoples' property. For video cameras or audio recording devices strictly within a place of business (or employed to automatically record phone calls), I think there should at a minimum be a requirement to immediately notify people when they are being filmed or recorded, for what purpose(s), the named individual(s) who have access to the data, and the phone numbers and email addresses at which those individuals can be contacted. Ideally I'd like to see the public have ready access to video and audio footage collected by organizations of their customers or the public (to look or listen, not to reproduce). I think there should also be laws against collecting, sorting, analyzing, or exchanging peoples' bio-genetic information (fingerprints, retina or facial scans, DNA samples, etc.), unless written consent is first given.*

  In the draft flier on surveillance, however, I do not go so far as to say any of these things should be illegal, or even to call for more regulation. The goal of the paragraph on private sector surveillance is simply to condemn these practices and draw negative attention to them. I realize that Derek appears to have assumed that my proposal contained a call for new legislation in this area, but in fact that was not my intent, and the actual language contains no such explicit or even implicit appeal. I believe to make such an appeal would be going too far for the Libertarian Party at this point. Perhaps if the problem becomes worse, and there is more consensus among Libertarians on the point, the question will be worth revisiting.

Love & liberty,
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*On a slightly different topic also related to common current practices in the business world, I also think contract law should take into account the length and detail of a contract and the value of the thing being contracted for -- the longer and more complex a contract, especially in situations where the value of the product or service being contracted for is relatively minor, and the choice is a stark one of "sign this in its entirety, or we won't let you use this product or service at all," the less its provisions should be considered enforceable.

Which, incidentally, gives me an idea for a one-panel cartoon. It would show someone about to blow her nose with a piece of tissue paper on which is printed a lengthy legal statement which starts out something along the lines of, "Use of this tissue paper as a receptacle for any human bodily fluids constitutes your consent to the Terms of Use. User agrees to indemnify and otherwise hold harmless ACME TISSUE from any damages, physical, emotional, or other, that may result from the use of this product, and to submit any disagreements to binding arbitration. User further stipulates that he/she has read and consents to our Privacy Policy (see or scan the tracking chip embedded in your tissue box) concerning the use of your DNA..."

If we have any artists here who would like to illustrate such a cartoon and share artistic credit, please let me know!


It's a funny cartoon, but again, one could start his own
tissue-manufacturing firm. In fact, if the burdens of the disclaimer
language were too great, your new firm would be swamped with orders
and could outcompete this other one



  Sure, yeah, somebody could always start another tissue-manufacturing company, take their customers, and so on, but all that is missing the point -- some things are just *wrong*! And I mean that in both the straight and the camp senses and inflections of the word! [In contrast, public nudity of people with bodies commonly regarded as unsightly would only be wrong in a campy sense, imho.] 8)

Love & liberty,
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