SM5POR wrote:Yes, we are in agreement here. The problem I see is that in order to protect someone's privacy, you call for legislation that can't be enforced without violating somebody else's privacy. Isn't this a bit like the surgeon declaring the surgery he performed a success, although his patient died? If everybody and his little brother are routinely being investigated and prosecuted for privacy violations, do we have privacy then?
This is simply because we both obviously see the law from different perspectives. You see the law from a point of view of the law enforcement. It is a tool for you and all statements included in the law are like the ultimate truths. Everything must surrender to them or else... <bang!> <bang!>. I see the law from a point of view of the legislators. It is a temporary social agreement, which suites temporary needs of the people living in the society. Everything is subject to questioning, inquiry, bargain and mutual concesions.
I agree, and it was I who made the comparison, not you. In order to make "violation of privacy" a simple addition to the libel law, you should show how the two acts are similar, or I don't see why you would combine laws about acts that are totally unrelated to each other. I pointed out a distinction, that libel is something made in public, while collecting information can be done in private.
If these acts have anything in common, it boils down to "making a statement about someone". That statement may be true or false, and it may be public or private. Libel can simply speaking be described as "making a false statement in public" (about someone), collecting information as "making a true statement in private". You argue that both these acts should be illegal (with certain exceptions, but they are not important here). What about the remaining two combined acts, namely "making a true statement in public" and "making a false statement in private"? Shouldn't they be illegal too? If you don't think so, you will have to explain to me why it should be legal to print in the newspaper that the prime minister is married, but not to mention the very same thing in one's private diary.
However this libel can in more older versions also be described as "an affront to one's honor". Now, if you think just a while what that actually means in a society with strong privacy protecting laws, then think what happen if someone will act for an other person without that person consent written on paper and even better yet signed by couple witnesess. Maybe you are already getting where I am going. So when you see yourself in someone else's "happy consumer fancy list" without your consent, then it is actually also "an affront to your honor". Congratulation you have been just incapacitated by author of this "happy consumer fancy list". I think in English it is expressed as "someone tooks for himself somebody else's liberties" or something alike about "taking liberties". Also it is not about freedoms. So you see libel, these offences against privacy and incapacitatation are violation of a person and they should be under the same legal roof, as they adress exactly the same issue.
I would argue that individuals already have a natural monopoly on information about their private lives, because if they keep their secrets to themselves, it will be difficult for others to discover those secrets. I don't think we can conclude that this monopoly must be state-sponsored, because that would mean we need to trust the state not only to respect our right to privacy, but also to actively protect it on our behalf. How much is this protection worth to you, when the state itself turns out to be corrupt and non-trustworthy?
Now, I see you underestimate the miracles of modern technology. Virtually none can have today a private life any longer. Specially if someone even chooses to violate it. Besides society's infrastructure builded by rules of liberal capitalism makes it almost impossible any more for anyone on this planet to have a private life. Today we humans even must ignore eachother to have impresion of privacy. The only places, which can provide a private life, which do not interfere with others' people's life is to live underground in bunkers. This is however hardly practical for anyone. So we must force the stupid idiot, which is the liberal capitalism to conform not to its bottom price lines, but to the wisdom of the non-liberal capitalism rules. Finaly privacy is not about secrecy, as you are hinting, but about one's undisturbed by other people private life in which whatever the person does in limits of his private space, won't be affecting other people or give them opportunity to spy the person.
So why we would make corrupt and not-trustworthy state to bring that monopoly and protect it on our behalf? Liberal capitalism is the answer in all these questions.
It doesn't shock me at all, but whenever I encounter a law that I may technically violate in my privacy without harming anybody else, it erodes my confidence in the law, and that in itself is sufficient reason to change the law so I will no longer risk violating it. The fact that about one million Swedish citizens were effectively made into criminals on July 1, 2005, tells us all that it's ok to break the law as long as you keep quiet about it. That's not a message I want to send to the young generation! I want laws that I can and will follow to the letter and spirit even without the police watching over my shoulder 24/7, because then I can expect others to do the same.
In every situation, the proper question to ask yourself should be "is this the right thing for me to do", not "can I get away with it". The more these questions yield different answers, the less likely you are to bother following the law at all.
Every should have some higher values to strive for and to try to achieve. I am for example a Polish Roman Catholic and I strive also for some higher ideal too. It is admirable thing to do and I do not condemn it. However I recognize that not all people are like me, so I also have a certain approach for my life, which is "live and let live".
Futhermore I wouldn't iconify legislation, as it is in a fluent state and always open for trade, bargain, horse seling and all fancy things people can still invent into it. The law does not offer any higher ideals for any young people to follow, just the mere general bottom line of allowances in the society, so it is a human lowest behavior bottom line we may still tolerate in our society. Futhermore we may still choose to violate it anyway due our own higher ideals. So why should young people look up to it? Besides if anyone looks up to the law, then it rather serves poorly about his place in the society. Maybe sociaty should split, if large part of it have chosen an alternative lifestile and the rest of society cannot follow them. I think every has right to be happy and live their life as they choose to.
That's two prohibitions; one against certain kinds of organizations, and another against certain kinds of public propaganda (if that is what you mean by "spreading"). I can accept restrictions against some forms of public propaganda, even though I'd like to keep those restrictions at a minimum. However, I cannot accept trying to prohibit two individuals sharing the same mistaken beliefs from talking to each other, or forming a secret society, because that prohibition would require a police state to enforce.
A police state is bad enough when the prohibition is aimed at clearly tangible activities, such as meeting in a pub or making a phone call, but your constitution calls for legal action against ideologies described by certain labels, as if such a label could be objectively chosen. That's not a recipe for fair and equal treatment under the law.
For the first part I would like to notice you are late out. All so called democracies ay least here in Europe are police states. All without exception.
For the second part i think public broadcast of offensive and forbidden messages should be just added to the umbrela of personal offensive laws, which include already that libel. This of course make police enforcement not much of use in role of enforcing it, as everything is about one offended citizen acting against the violator. Besides if everything is done privatly none gets offended, so your problems with privacy is solved too. No police state, or at least not so intrusive as it is now.
Joining a secret society under false pretenses or bugging their offices amounts to pretty much the same kind of privacy intrusion, except that in the former case you introduce yet another face to the party. If you need to go undercover to find out what they are saying to each other, they certainly aren't telling it in public, and prosecuting them for saying it in confidence as if they had said the same thing in public sounds like an abuse of the law to me. That is, if the law is indeed aimed at public speech only, not at secret societies. It's not "freely volunteered" if they don't know that they are talking to a government agent.
Maybe intrusion is of the same nature like infiltration and maybe one follows often the another, but there is some subtle difference. The bugging violates privacy, when joining even a secret society is an act done in public, just not in front of all of it and all information delivered from the spy are not to be considered as private, because the spy makes them just available further to other people. Because you see "public" is a concept of something done in society, when "official" is something done also in society, but in front of all of it. Just check if flashers flashing just before one young child are doing it private or is it already clasified in the law as a public and offensive behaviour. I think if we have a law it should stay somehow consistant and balanced, so at least people know what they can expect from it, when they do something. That's what the laws are for. To be reliable.
If his criminal action has already been established with certainty, why go to such lengths to obtain additional evidence, or even bother with a trial against the suspect? He may still be found "not guilty", in which case he is innocent in the eyes of the court, if not in the eyes of the public. How many times will the same prosecutor be granted a wiretap on someone who is later released without bail for lack of evidence, if he is that sure each time?
If judge sees evidence as enough to start a trial, then I think further investigation sanctioned by judge like bugging could provide identities of other people who do not intend to stay private with their offensive acts.
I'm not saying that your points about democracy aren't interesting, but you seemed to be drifting away from the topic of privacy vs police investigatory powers. There are issues involving privacy in the democratic process as well, such as voting secrecy, but that's a whole different chapter. The freedom of individuals to associate for whatever purpose they like goes far beyond the formation of political parties, and even though information about someone's political affiliation may warrant extra protection, non-political organizations deserve to be treated much like private individuals, "innocent until proven guilty". Society itself is an organization, and if we think we can outlaw organizations, we may just as well outlaw society.
I don't think I have denied these freedoms. I've just limited the scope of considerations. My point was entirely that there wouldn't be any topic of privacy vs police investigatory powers, if we would live in a clasic, but still modern democracy, which do not use any police at all. That's it.