Transparency before Privacy


#1

Transparency before Privacy

It may be that the goal of efforts like ProjectSAFE is really not privacy so much as defacto (forced) organizational transparency. We can’t know if we have individual privacy to any useful extent without first having organizational transparency.

Think of the dirty hand ticking time bomb type expediency justifications for secrecy and trying to enhance organizational secrecy by defeating other organization’s secrecy or the privacy. In war time a troop is captured and the dirty hand types will claim that the troop must resist interrogation to the end to protect the dirty hand’s interests. Transparency would tell the troops, tell them everything they know on the spot, so they have no justifiable need of dirty hand type tactics and also so that troops aren’t lost as they won’t be dirty hand expendable, knowing that any captured troop could require rejigging plans on the spot.
The desire for privacy stems in part from a need to avoid judgment over ordinary things taken out of context and out of a need for down time and space to be free of intrusion and interruption- really the human need to relax. It also tends to be at the core of our attempts to justify rights notions.

Organizational secrecy is an effort to increase power at the expense of others and to make lying easier. It’s not so much an expediency as it is an aid to ill will and cover for taking short cuts that pile up. In the case of trade secrecy the issue is enforcement and organizations feeling they have a legal right to cover. If this legal right can be made impractical to enforce it will disappear, we can find other approaches to that don’t erode the integrity of law. Organization secrecy is not stuff like passwords or launch codes. Passwords would be more akin to privacy and launch codes are something that can simply be trivially changed and really just a conflation or smoke screen issue for un-trustable or overly empowered and corrupt organizations. If secrecy is a means it’s a corrupt means that implies corrupt aims and intents. It also spreads paranoia and undoes itself as its forces people to constantly scrape for dirt on others to feel safe. You need secrets just to keep you safe from the secrets you have, it leads to instability and organizational implosion.

Part of walking the talk and forcing transparency is being transparent. To say forcing simply means that no secrecy mongering organization can ever have a reasonable expectation of secrecy again. They do things in the direct sunlight or not at all.