Demaestro - 9:39 pm on Aug 10, 2010 (gmt 0)
It's not the beauty of a free society for you to be able to access my personal information
You are right, it is the beauty of a free society that I am able to access your public information, not your personal information.
I think you are taking my points the wrong way. I am not arguing that bad can't be done with this info, clearly it can.
Conceded this point I will play devil's advocate and say why stop there? Bad can be done with most seemingly 'good' tools as well as info. Why not make them illegal too? Knifes, baseball bats, cars.... etc. In a free society the fact that something COULD be used for bad has rarely been a good enough reason to make something that isn't inherently bad, illegal.
There is a website here in my country which is in a grey area.
They publicize the address info of people being accused for pedofelia.
These people have not been arrested for it, nor did a judge rule in this, they where just accused once. (even people that have relationships / friendships with them could get their addresses listed on that website).
The owner of the website then says: Hey, all I did was copy the address info from other parts of the internet to my website where it's all in 1 place.
See this is a perfect example of what I am talking about. This is a person who isn't using the information available to him responsibly. Should the 'parts of the Internet' that he got the info from be charged with a crime? Should they not be allowed to have the info that he gathered?
I assume that where he got much of the information was from the public documentation in regards to upcoming cases. Information which is PUBLIC and is rightfully PUBLIC. To make it illegal for a citizen to look up, record, and even make public information available to other citizens a crime is a slippery slope that I am against.
That is my point. Not that Google was morally correct, not that others should do the same as Google in this case. My point is that Google has the right to access and record public info.
I think our right to access and use public info is greater than our right to withhold what rights the public has with public info.
In my view, and in the view of the law the airways are public. There are rules that need to be followed when using the public airwaves, just like using any public entity, but the airwaves are public and I feel it is our right to record this info.
Kaled I appreciate that if someone publishes the id of a police officer and his address then that is stupid and I don't think that is right. If someone did that and someone else hurt the officer or his family then I am sure most places would rightfully consider the person who made the info available an accomplice. That would be akin to drawing a map of your ex husbands house and giving it to a crack head and saying "Here is the address of a house with a nice tv and a map of the inside."
That scenario shouldn't make drawing maps of people's houses illegal, just like posting a cop's info shouldn't make record public info illegal, just like stabbing someone with a knife shouldn't make knives illegal. But a person doing that should be punished.
Bad people do bad things and use good things to do them all the time. In all my scenarios the perpetrators should be punished, but their tools shouldn't be outlawed.