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The Electronic Police State

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the watching-you dept.

Privacy 206

gerddie writes "Cryptohippie has published what may be called a first attempt to describe the 'electronic police state' (PDF). Based on information available from different organizations such as Electronic Privacy Information Center, Reporters Without Borders, and Freedom House, countries were rated on 17 criteria with regard to how close they are already to an electronic police state. The rankings are for 2008. Not too surprisingly, one finds China, North Korea, Belarus, and Russia at the top of the list. But the next slots are occupied by the UK (England and Wales), the US, Singapore, Israel, France, and Germany." This is a good start, but it would be good to see details of their methodology. They do provide the raw data (in XLS format), but no indication of the weightings they apply to the elements of "electronic police state" behavior they are scoring.

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206 comments

1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27917593)

furst post

Re:1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27917697)

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Re:1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918099)

Ha ha, sucks to be you. No sympathy what so ever.

USA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27917603)

Being from the USA I can tell you I feel like we should be first on the list as far as government inspection of our online activities.

Re:USA (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917663)

Being from the USA I can tell you I feel like we should be first on the list as far as government inspection of our online activities.

The government inspection is not nearly as bad as employer/school policing of your online activities.

Are you serious? (5, Insightful)

Atypical Geek (1466627) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917819)

The government inspection is not nearly as bad as employer/school policing of your online activities.

My apologies, but I am always shocked when people make the claim that potentially nefarious activities are somehow "more evil" when performed by private actors as opposed by government. What is the basis for your argument?

The government has an absolute monopoly on force. A corporation, no matter how evil, cannot lawfully detain you, lock you in a cage or kill you. The government can do all of those things and more. Your school cannot deprive you of your income, restrict your movements or require that your name be entered on a list of proscribed persons. The government does these things as a matter of course.

Perhaps you feel more in control of your government than you do your employer or school? Good luck with that. You can find another job. You can study elsewhere. Your government is inescapable.

Re:Are you serious? (1)

inasity_rules (1110095) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918159)

Your government is inescapable.

Immigrate.

Re:Are you serious? (5, Insightful)

hachi-control (1360955) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918209)

Immigrate.

You know it isn't nearly as simple as that. Especially since many governments are enacting this, there seems to be no safe-haven from restrictions on freedom, unless we want to move to a law-less place like Sudan. We want a place with a stable government that cares about its population, is truly democratic, and cares about freedom, and not the money it gets from lobby groups. And most of all, has fast internet. ;)

Re:Are you serious? (4, Insightful)

TarrVetus (597895) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918753)

And most of all, has fast internet. ;)

I know you meant that tongue-in-cheek, but you bring up an interesting concept. If you move to a place you feel is more free, it's nice if it's a place that has a standard of living that is as good--or better--than you're used to.

On the other hand, there is a point where the luxuries aren't worth the cost of principles. When that happens, you end up with things like rebellions, successions, and other transitions. People will forfeit plumbing, transit systems, electricity, and even food for the chance to govern themselves as they see fit, if the situation feels dire enough. The world can beat them, or join them--either way, it makes little difference in that situation, because the right to rule or be ruled as they believe, and thereby control their futures, becomes the first, and most basic need.

The food, the water, the electricity, medicine, fuel: to a desperate person, those things lose their worth. They're all tethers binding them to something they hate. Time and time, again, it's shown that the people will abandon or destroy them before allowing those things to hold them any longer.

Are you serious? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918311)

You haven't heard of the no fly list it seems

Re:Are you serious? (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918769)

Emigrate ! FFS.

To immigrate is to move INTO a country, emigrate is to move OUT.

Re:Are you serious? (0)

inasity_rules (1110095) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918941)

Exactly. Except one implies the other. I chose immigrate to emphasize the choice of destination. My usage is correct, since the chances of me being in the same country as the poster are practically zero. Be careful, your narrow world view is showing - there are more countries in the world than the one in which you stand. Some people from places other than America actually post on slashdot! Wow! (And yes, I know it is(just like the majority of posters) US centric).

Re:Are you serious? (3, Funny)

umghhh (965931) | more than 4 years ago | (#27919107)

where to? There is no place without some state claiming ownership over it.

Re:Are you serious? (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918239)

My apologies, but I am always shocked when people make the claim that potentially nefarious activities are somehow "more evil" when performed by private actors as opposed by government. What is the basis for your argument?

I guess I was being vague when I said "bad" and there are multiple interpretations. Sorry for shocking you with that, here I was talking about numbers of those affected. I was also vague about where I was referring to, I meant the US which the AC was talking about.

What I meant was far, FAR more people in the US have been affected by employers and schools imposing and enforcing their own restrictions on citizens' online activities. The government isn't going to care if you post pictures of yourself drinking beer to your facebook profile, your school or employer might though.

I realize that when the government steps in, it's much bigger penalties than getting fired. But that's not the only way to measure impact of electronic policing, and I'd argue that typically, the restrictions your employer or school places on your online behavior is a lot more arbitrary and vague than the government's. Generally.

You can change schools, jobs, whatever, but there are pretty significant consequences to that. They do pale in comparison to what your government can do to you, but you are more likely to get fired, lose your house and career because of something your boss saw you posted online than the government, plus the government is usually better about telling you what they won't tolerate.

Perhaps you feel like losing your job or getting kicked out of school is insignificant because it's not the government executing you? I guess that's one way of looking at things.

Re:Are you serious? (1)

infinitelink (963279) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918497)

Hmm... Why shouldn't either of these impose restrictions on how you use THEIR resources? Schools will, first of all, impose restrictions because the public ones are required to: and I'm not sure parents are actually opposed to this--the libraries, etc., (which are usually required to have them) have them because of parental outrage about kids using it for porn: I would rather they actually impose nothing and just, perhaps, notify parents by e-mail when the kid logs-in using the new members-only gateway so many public libraries are installing to inform parents what's up (you know, let the parents talk to their kids about [insert something here]) rather than letting government use "the kids" as a pretext to expand their powers ominously all the time.

Re:Are you serious? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918873)

Hmm... Why shouldn't either of these impose restrictions on how you use THEIR resources?

That's not what I was talking about. A google search for "Fired for facebook" or "Suspended for facebook" (and probably other non-facebook related searches) came up with numerous examples of schools and employers penalizing their students and employees for online activity which was not using their resources or company time.

Re:Are you serious? (2, Insightful)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918301)

I'll agree the government has the potential to be worse, but at the moment, I've not heard of the government pulling insane BS like blocking everything but port 80 and 443 the way many college dorms do, or requiring that people give the government systematic access to their machines so they can check up on them (a common practice in law schools).

Re:Are you serious? (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918789)

So people having control over their own systems is a bad thing now ? If you don't want ports blocked, use your own damn system.

Re:Are you serious? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918569)

A corporation, no matter how evil, cannot lawfully detain you, lock you in a cage or kill you.

http://www.google.com/search?q=riaa+swat+team [google.com]

'Nuff said.

Which was done using the powers of government ... (1)

Chris Daniel (807289) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918705)

The RIAA haven't undertaken raids on their own authority, nor have they used their own forces. In these cases, they are influencing government (police SWATs) to use its monopoly on force to "enforce the law". Maybe it's a fine line, but it is a line. This is not to say the government is any more justified in taking unjust actions, however.

Re:Which was done using the powers of government . (2, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918765)

The RIAA haven't undertaken raids on their own authority, nor have they used their own forces. In these cases, they are influencing government (police SWATs) to use its monopoly on force to "enforce the law". Maybe it's a fine line, but it is a line.

No, it's a blurred line. Corporations write the laws the government enforces, even if not directly.

Re:Are you serious? (3, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918867)

"A corporation, no matter how evil, cannot lawfully detain you, lock you in a cage or kill you."

Actually the can and they do, we just don't hear about it. Corporations BUY the laws and commit many crimes, did you not know that corporations were killing their workers up into th 1930's? How about third world sweatshops? Corporations pay others to do their dirty work for them, while their PR machines give the impression that "private" corporations are better then government... my ass. History shows that private men who have much commercial power are just violent as any government not to mention they fund armies and rebellions, they are intertwined (corps and government).

This idea that the world "government" is somehow different from "private corporation" is a bunch of bullshit, most corporations LOVE government in fact many couldn't exist and get away with the shit they do if not FOR buying off people in government.

Private men of commerce have been amongst the most evil since they fund governments of the world let's not forget, buy and lobby laws in their favor.

They are JUST as bad as government, because you see the word "government" and "corporation" hide the TRUE meaning most elites would not want you to see: They own both, and their is a revolving door from one to the other, while the average public man rails against "government" nad supports "pro privitization" little does he know people in power know the score, is that their is no difference in people that run these insitutions and their influence is peddles via both means, it's the people themselves that cause stuff we should be after.

"Government" is a ghost that ignorant people rail against, when it is PEOPLE that cause things to happen.

Re:USA (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918011)

yeah that is harsh.

I mean its like they think you are borrowing their computers? They think they can do whatever they want with equipment they paid for and tell you how you can and cannot use their stuff.

Re:USA (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918055)

we are also borrowing lockers, toilets and a lot more. Be ready to be filmed if you take a dump at school.

Re:USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918193)

Well, duh. Stop taking a dump in the lockers.

Re:USA (5, Insightful)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917715)

If you have nothing to hide, government surveillance would not matter at all.

Just stop using the Internet, driving a car, visiting public places, using credit cards, signing up for lists at major US retailers, enrolling in any public organization or institution, talking on a cell phone, renting videos, or getting cable television. This should ensure your basic expectations of privacy are respected.

M

Re:USA (3, Insightful)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918353)

You forgot to mention traveling on an airplane, traveling on a coach, traveling on Amtrak, holding a bank account, gambling at a casino (they have to take your details so they can tell the IRS if you win and need to pay income tax on that win IIRC) or owning a firearm.

What about NOT the USA? (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918433)

This technology is available to the next Pol Pot, or Idi Amin, or Saddam Hussein. As a dictator, cost is little if any problem - you just tell people to set up the surveillance, and report to you. Not to mention, the US comes awfully close locking up political prisoners sometimes. Remember McCarthy? Just think if HE had access to all this newfangled monitoring equipment. The next George W. Bush may whisk you off to Guantanamo, based on some comment you made online, or in an email. And, people who notice you gone will say, "Well, if he had nothing to hide, he wouldn't have gone missing!"

Re:What about NOT the USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918971)

It's okay. You could have the audacity to expect bankruptcy to go according to law, but the federal government will now threaten you [bloomberg.com] into giving away your rights under bankruptcy law.

Re:USA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918917)

If you have nothing to hide, government surveillance would not matter at all.

Everybody's got something to hide and it's none of the government's business.

Re:USA (2, Informative)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917763)

Go try web browsing in North Korea, let us know if you still feel that way.

Re:USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918245)

they don't have the internetz

Police state UK (4, Insightful)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917615)

UK is particularly bad, the goverment want to have records of every single phone call, sms, email sent or web page read by every single person in the UK. Needless to say, this is a ridiculously expensive enterprise at a time when the UK's public borrowing is higher than every.

Re:Police state UK (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27917775)

The UK controlled by the Rothschilds, the most powerful JEWISH family in the world.

Re:Police state UK (3, Funny)

joss (1346) | more than 4 years ago | (#27919017)

Shit, I wish.. I bet they would do a better job than the current assclowns.

RE: Police state UK (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27917815)

I think they have most of it dont they?

Phone Logs - Check
Email Logs - Check
ISP Logs - Check
Tracking domestic flights - Check
Web Usage - Check
Subscriber Information - Check
Banking Records - Check
Number Plate Tracking - Check
Facebook friends list - Pending

Re: Police state UK (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918451)

FB friends list (ROFL). You just need to look at anyone who plays any web games on FB. You might have 100's of "friends" who you want only for their clan presence. Anyone using that for tracking should be looking at Garbage in Garbage out as a guiding principal.

Re: Police state UK (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918509)

so, dear americans, now what happens to "internet interprets censorship as damage and route around it", as there is no more free route for you?

Re:Police state UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918613)

The UK government are at least open about it.

The US will just have the NSA bribe and / or blackmail telecommunications companies into doing it secretively and illegally.

Other countries on the list will do the same but have you shot or imprisoned if you complain about it.

Re:Police state UK (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918667)

Other countries on the list will do the same but have you shot or imprisoned if you complain about it.

Ah yes, like the Scandinavian countries who are renowned for butchering their own populace whenever complaints are raised.

Seriously, where does the idea come from that the world is divided into the US, the UK and Here-be-dragons savage states? To some of us, it is your countries who look increasingly like gilded cages wherein the citizens are losing rights we still have.

The fight of tomorrow (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27917681)

So if our grand-fathers fought with hands, today we fight with data, tomorrow it's thoughts: Will we be prosecuting, arresting, and gagging neurons with specific DNA?

Is this for real? (4, Insightful)

ugen (93902) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917687)

I am sorry, but if you are claiming something to be a report on "national rankings" of "The Electronic Police State", you should at a very least have a clue.

A few hints to the fact that this report is a bunch of crap (no offense to a good name of real crap) is clear lack of understanding of legal concepts, imprecise and not legally or scientifically accepted definitions and simply errors in basic terms and grammar.

It is spelled "habeAs corpus". You do not start a paper that you want to be taken seriously with cheap usenet flame references to "Nazi Germany or Stalin's USSR".

It is not a "criminal evidence" (what the hell is "criminal evidence" anyway?), unless it is admissible in court and no information as collected is admissible on its own merits. And how do you compare countries with completely different legal systems?

I could go on and on, but really it isn't worth the time. This report should not be on a first page of "idle", much less on /. Really, editors - get a clue.

Re:Is this for real? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27917959)

The document might be crap - the rise and spread of "Electronic Police State" is quite real.

Re:Is this for real? (0, Offtopic)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918807)

Hey, we should call it an imaginary police state. Because it works with intangible data, not our physically-manifested freedoms. Therefore, it cannot be analogous to real police states.

Is this Slashdot? (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917981)

Rants like yours obviously based on evidence (I'm guesing you RTFA) have no place on slashdot. Enough said.

Re:Is this for real? (1)

atraintocry (1183485) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918071)

Seeing how quickly the Nazis get brought up is a great way to tell whether or not an article is worth reading. The higher on the page you see Hitler, the higher it will rank on the the unintentional humor scale.

Re:Is this for real? (5, Informative)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918203)

The usual image of a âoepolice stateâ includes secret police dragging people out of their homes at night, with scenes out of Nazi Germany or Stalinâ(TM)s USSR. The problem with these images is that they are horribly outdated. Thatâ(TM)s how things worked during your grandfatherâ(TM)s war â" that is not how things work now.

Seems like a perfectly reasonable statement to me. Context matters, people. It won't stop everyone shouting 'Godwin!' and giggling like imbeciles but it is actually a very good metaphor to use when talking about how the imagery people associate with police states is outdated.

Re:Is this for real? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918157)

Legal systems? Wtf? Like many Slashdotters I live in Germany, and at the moment our politicians are very busy to adapt our legal system to make it fit the needs of a police state. I think the only one who has no clue is you.

Re:Is this for real? (4, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918217)

Plus, no matter what you're ranking the countries of the world in, there will ALWAYS be those at the top, those farther down, and those at the bottom. It's all relative! The question shouldn't be "which rates the worst?" but "which rate below acceptable?" (which of course all of those mentioned in the summary probably do)

Re:Is this for real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27919131)

/---/ you should at a very least have a clue /---/ It is spelled "habeAs corpus". You do not start a paper that you want to be taken seriously with cheap usenet flame references to "Nazi Germany or Stalin's USSR".

It is not a "criminal evidence" (what the hell is "criminal evidence" anyway?), unless it is admissible in court and no information as collected is admissible on its own merits. And how do you compare countries with completely different legal systems?

You should get a clue. Just because it won't hold as evidence in a court, doesn't mean it can't be used to oppress or track people down.

As an exemple, there was a big scientific study on children in Sweden. I think it was in the early 80's, but I have forgotten the name of the study so I can't find any information on the 'net. Anyhow, it resulted in a large number of tissue sample from a large age group neatly collected in a database. Fast forward to the 90's. The police is trying to track down a couple of different criminals (mostly rapists I believe, if you want to start nibble away peoples personal integrity, start with people that are generally disliked in your society (rapists, pedophiles, Chechens, Gypsies, Jews, Muslims...negroes, "terrorists", bogeyman)). Someone, within the police, get the bright idea to use the database, someone bluff a secretary to give them tissue samples. This led to some arrests and convictions. The tissues was not legal evidence, on the contrary the policeman that got the samples should have been put in jail if he could have been identified, but without them the police wouldn't have found the perpetrators. Those cases led to the Swedish police starting to request information from other scientific databases, through legal procedure or by bluffing. It ended with a lot of office staff getting schooled on how to handle request from the police and a lot of researchers starting to destroy their collected data after a study was finished. A lot of researchers destroyed valuable data collected centuries ago because they had promised the subjects it was only to be used in scientific research.

Sweden is a democratic society with a very long tradition of strong civil rights (along with Iceland and, kind of, Netherlands, they are the only countries in Europe that never had a feudal system, the closest thing Sweden had was the thrall system and it was never near being as unjust as the feudal system of the rest of Europe), in this case the police broke a lot of rules established as early as the 9th century. It could only happen because of one stupid and insecure office employee. What if a similar database were available in a country with weaker civil rights traditions, like say the US or UK, or in a country without any civil rights tradition at all? Whether it can be used as evidence in a trial is unimportant, legal evidence can always be found or fabricated. Data collections like this one can be used to track down people that otherwise couldn't be tracked down.

What is freedom? (2, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917699)

Does freedom mean that you can do anything you want any time you want? Or is freedom the life you lead based upon rules set out by the government?

What does freedom require of you? Is responsibility a facet of freedom? Is societal responsibility actually slavery?

Maybe after we stopped throwing around loaded code words like Freedom and Police State, perhaps we can find that sometimes freedom isn't what we think it ought to be, but that the actual practice of freedom is more humane and invigorating than true freedom.

Re:What is freedom? (5, Insightful)

e9th (652576) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917771)

It's the "rules set out by the government" part that bothers me, because I see an increasing disconnect between the government's interests and mine.

Re:What is freedom? (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917793)

Perhaps then an anarchy like Somalia would be more preferable to you than an oppressive nanny state like England?

Re:What is freedom? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27917841)

*Ahem.* Somalia is more like a conglomeration of warring mini-states than an anarchy. The problem isn't that there are no rulers (an-archos), it's that there's too many, and they fight each other.

Re:What is freedom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27917883)

I was thinking more along the lines of a less craven, self-serving gov't. Not sure where you got the anarchy bit from.

Re:What is freedom? (3, Informative)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917983)

I was thinking more along the lines of a less craven, self-serving gov't. Not sure where you got the anarchy bit from.

To get a less craven, self-serving govt. The people kinda need to actively participate in government. Choosing the lesser of two evils candidate will no bring about the end your seeking.

Re:What is freedom? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27919155)

Having people actively participate in a large gov that is already consuming more than half of their productivity and affects every facet of their lives is unrealistic. Who has the time?

The only gov we can actively participate in is a minimal gov, very local, where I only need to go to a townhall meeting a couple of times a year.

This is the reason that a non-minimal gov is inevitably representing interests other than the majority of the people.

Re:What is freedom? (3, Insightful)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918865)

Is it too much to ask for a limited government that is by the people and for the people?

Surveillance should be in the opposite direction. We should be able to see what our elected officials are doing 24/7. Have microphone on them at all times to make sure they arent being bought by lobbists and taking bribes and what not.

Re:What is freedom? (2)

infinitelink (963279) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918531)

You know, I'm really saddened these days (and I'm not saying this is you, just using your words here without other context of your mind as an example) how it is that government is used as a vehicle to drive interests, rather than sticking to the proscribed constitutionalism and operating within that framework, actually amending when considered (and only when considered as a matter of utmost caution) absolutely necessary (usually it hasn't been done with utmost caution--look at how the 16th has made our Federal government into a giant ready to crush any dissent and turn us into soft or really tyranny in the near future if it isn't put back in its box--yes, I'm talking U.S. here). I remember one persona non grata of congress talking about how he'd stand-up and tell congress repeatedly "you know we have no power to even debate this legislation", and they'd just go on with their interests. Either party, despite rhetoric, seems disinterested in any "rule of law", because that concept requires we all be submitted, providing a good framework and sort of "fairness" that we play by the same rules, rather than the modern "living constitutionalism" and other bull that plays word-games for politicians to try doing whatever they want. : ( Anyway, I agree with your statement.

Re:What is freedom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27917823)

What government do you work for again?

Re:What is freedom? (1)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918275)

Freedom is a physical right, not some bullshit abstract right created by man. Freedom is given to every known thing in the universe. There is only one true freedom, the freedom to move (or likewise, refusal to move). All other "freedoms" are derived from this one basic freedom, i.e. freedom of speech is actually one's ability to move their mouth and move molecules in air, etc. Mathematically, staying on earth will gradually lead to an erosion of freedom, unless population growth is stopped. Increase in population yields a reduced range of motion per human, in order to avoid someone else's freedom from infringing on your own (within a constrained finite space) there must be a mutual sacrifice of freedom (to stay peaceful). These sacrifices will proportionatly increase with reduced mobility. Freedom is a very simple thing and as humans our only way to obtain freedom is by increasing our range of motion without colliding with someone else's. The only way we can achieve freedom is through expansion into space where each individual has a closed system sustaining their life. Only then, will we reduce our probability of collisions and we can exercise greater freedom. We might be able to pull off a couple more centuries without much erosion of freedom by increasing our degrees of freedom (vertical expansion of horizontal living planes? into the ocean? under the ocean?); however, the bottom line is we need to start colonizing space and reducing collisions (by increasing range of motion).

Oh but for some mod points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27919077)

-1, Timecube.

So this is a comprehensive set of rankings (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27917711)

with no information on how it was compiled

good job

Next up, we'll publish a list of the top 50 mutual funds to invest in...with no mention of the criteria for generating the list.

Re:So this is a comprehensive set of rankings (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917805)

Additionally, is "Enforcement Ability" as(or more, or less) significant as "Financial Tracking"?

Every item gets a score between 1 and 5, but do they all carry the same weight in the study?

China != Hong Kong (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917741)

I don't know why I didn't see Hong Kong on the spreadsheet in the summary. Otherwise it could be un-ranked, as they use completely different legal system. If ranked, I bet Hong Kong would be out of top 100.

Re:China != Hong Kong (0, Troll)

heil_hitler_4_life (1552581) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917843)

You know why China needs to be like that? Remember the Boxer Union? Where the Brits, paired up with the Rothschild Jewish fags, open up the East Indies Company, and forced opium into China? China resisted. Opium war and millions of civilian causalities were what they get for resisting opium being sold in China. Now the white man and the Jews are having trouble entering China. So they make these reports trying to invade by pretending to be "humanitarian". Fuck amnesty international and all those fags, you will never invade our motherland again! No more Opium war! No more divided China! HEIL HITLER! SIEG HEIL!

Re:China != Hong Kong (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918143)

Just a question slashdotters, does this guys uid
instantly Godwin any discussion he posts to?

Obviously 90c short of a dollar.

Scores vs Rankings (4, Informative)

biocute (936687) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917753)

I downloaded the raw data. Some countries are missing, and the results are quite different from the PDF:

59-China
54-United Kingdom: England & Wales
53-Singapore
53-United States of America
52-France
52-Germany
51-Malaysia
50-Ireland
49-Netherlands
49-United Kingdom: Scotland
48-Israel
48-Russia
45-Australia
45-Belgium
45-Japan
44-Austria
44-New Zealand
43-Norway
41-Italy
40-Denmark
40-Taiwan
39-Canada
39-Greece
39-Hungary
39-Switzerland
38-Finland
38-Poland
38-Slovenia
38-Sweden
37-Cyprus
37-Estonia
37-Latvia
37-Lithuania
37-Malta
36-Czech Republic
36-Iceland
36-Luxembourg
36-Portugal
36-Spain
36-South Africa
34-Argentina
33-Romania
32-Thailand
31-Bulgaria
30-Brazil
28-Philippines
27-India

Re:Scores vs Rankings (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918075)

Why is the UK split in to two categories? What point are they trying to make, and what biasis are they carrying? And what about Northern Ireland - is there a third category not listed, or do they not want to include that?

Re:Scores vs Rankings (2, Informative)

Holmwood (899130) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918179)

Scotland has a different legal system from England and Wales. See here for example. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scots_law [wikipedia.org]

Also, historically, camera surveillance wasn't quite as omnipresent in Scotland, though that seems to be changing, based on the last time I was in Edinburgh.

I'd have to agree with some of the other comments: the data doesn't seem to add up (even accepting their evaluation criteria at face value), and there do seem to be strange omissions (e.g. the lack of looking at police surveillance cameras as an issue).

That said, this is an issue worth worrying about, and a half-broken metric is at least a start.

Re:Scores vs Rankings (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918231)

England+Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland all have separate and distinct legal systems. I guess perhaps NI is too small to include.

Main code block (-1, Offtopic)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917809)

for (floop = 1 ; floop 17 ; floop++)
        {
        score += .01 * country_rank(floop)
        }
if (former_communist_block_state) {
        score += 20
        }
elsif (is_US || is_UK) {
        score += 15
        }
elsif (recently_revolted_against(former_colonial_power)) {
        score -= 10
        }
elsif (I_can_buy_pot_legally_there) {
        score -= 30
        }

Math is hard, let's go shopping! (4, Informative)

tetromino (807969) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917889)

So, if you download their XLS raw data, and add up their scores, the worst 6 nations are:

1. China, with a score of 3.47
2. UK (Englad/Wales), with a score of 3.18
3. US and Singapore (tied for 3rd place), with a score of 3.12
5. France and Germany (tied for 5th place), with a score of 3.06

And as for Israel and Russia -- they are tied for 11th place, with a score of 2.82

Quite different from the top offenders list in the PDF, eh? It gets worse: North Korea and Belarus (in the top 5 according to the PDF) are not even mentioned anywhere in the raw data XLS... So not only did these "experts" pull their data out of their asses, but they managed to fail at adding up their own funny numbers!

Re:Math is hard, let's go shopping! (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 4 years ago | (#27917939)

North Korea and Belarus (in the top 5 according to the PDF) are not even mentioned anywhere in the raw data XLS

Covert Hacking
State operatives removing - or adding! - digital evidence to/from private computers
covertly. Covert hacking can make anyone appear as any kind of criminal desired.

Re:Math is hard, let's go shopping! (1)

tetromino (807969) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918019)

There is no "Covert Hacking" column in the raw data. There is a "Warrantless Hacking" column, though - I'm assuming that's the same thing (arriving at a consistent naming scheme is yet another area that the authors fail at). And there is no data for North Korea or Belarus in the "Warrantless Hacking" column, just like in all other columns.

In any case, I fail to see how the concept of covert/warrantless hacking is even relevant to North Korea: there is nothing in the country to hack, since virtually no North Koreans have personal PCs.

Stupid geeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918045)

You give into the hands of stupid politicians all the tools to create police state easily.

Habeas, not Habeus (1)

bob.appleyard (1030756) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918067)

One minor complaint, it's habeas (a 2nd person verb, "you (shall) have"), not habeus (which could be a 2nd declension noun in the nominative, or a 4th declension in several cases). Habeas corpus (corpus is a 4th declension noun, here in the accusative) means "you have the body." It should be pretty clear what it's about in that case -- it was traditionally used when someone felt they were being falsely imprisoned.

This article... (1)

techwizrd (1164023) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918137)

...fails.

The one time I actually RTFA, the article is fail.

As other commenters have pointed out, the article is inaccurate, and the numbers and ranks they are basing they're crazy conclusions on do no even match they're own raw data.

Oh well, back to Nethack to find that amulet. (Actually, I should probably consider sleeping... nawww, that can wait. The Amulet of Yendor is much more important.)

Okay... (1)

flydude18 (839328) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918155)

And I've used data from many organizations to compile a ranking of countries which are the closest to being a strawberry ice cream:

1. Iceland
2. North Korea
3. Quebec
4. Central African Republic
5. Macedonia

Of these, Iceland is by far the closest to being at the right serving temperature. Mmm, Iceland.

Drumming up hysteria (5, Interesting)

el_flynn (1279) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918345)

After skimming that report, and comparing it with what's on the Cryptohippie website - it looks to me that the document is more of a marketing tool to promote their company. Am I the only one who thinks this?

Here's what the group claims to do: "Cryptohippie USA, Inc. exists to protect individuals and organizations against attacks on privacy by agents of industrial and competitive espionage, organized crime, oppressive governments and even hired hackers. We do this with the best of encryption technologies and a closed group of highly protected networks - for your peace of mind and safety."

Here's what the report posits:

* "In an Electronic Police State...[every electronic flotsam you produce is] criminal evidence, and they are held in searchable databases, for a long long time."
* "Whoever holds this evidence can make you look very, very bad"
* The State knows everything you do, a-la Big Brother

They are trying to frame this paranoia into a neat little package, which sets you in the right mood to accept what they have to sell - which is protection against attacks on your privacy.

Classic marketing technique? Sorry, it just looks like another insurance agent to me.

ARGH! (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918405)

This is a good start, but it would be good to see details of their methodology.

No, it would be good to see details of their method. Methodology is the study of methods. It is not a synonym for method.

mod Tdown (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918439)

were nullified by questions, then survey which isn't a lemonade Niggers everywhere Yes, I work for futu8e at all CANS CAN BECOME between each BSD Market. Therefore core team. They market. Therefore,

Democracy does not equal Freedom (5, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918533)

A quote from the articles' referenced PDF:

1. We really don't see how it is going to hurt us. Mass surveillance is
certainly a new, odd, and perhaps an ominous thing, but we just
don't see a complete picture or a smoking gun.
2. We are constantly surrounded with messages that say, Only crazy
people complain about the government.

As a person who has recently (over the past couple of months) done some review and a lot of reading into Nazi Germany, I can see the same types of Authoritarian trends and psychological tendencies to dismiss the worst case scenarios in "Democratic" countries (I scary-quote the word "Democratic" because there appears to be a cultural assumption that Democracy is necessarily equated with Freedom and justice, which, at the most is an accident. Democracy only assumes voting power (to an extant, for the majority of people), and not Freedom from oppression. I will emphasize that Democracy is generally a more utilitarian means towards Freedom than other forms of government. Benign and beneficent Autocracies would be great if they weren't "Utopian" [that is, mythical] in nature).

There also appears to be a tendency for people to appease authority in order to minimize worst case scenarios.
There also appears to be a tendency for governments to rationalize extremist and authoritarian practices. Hitler (and perhaps more tellingly Goebbels [who wasn't intellectually fanatical against Jews, but realized the value of Fear, Ignorance, and Hatred]) used the Jews as his main propaganda vehicle. The contemporary West uses the "pedophile" and the "terrorist" as the excuse. In both cases the regimes generally tend to have financial support from big businesses and the "conservative" voting class (I don't mean to slight well-meaning Conservatives here, but I am taking my language directly from the history books, some of which are contemporary to the history I am talking about). In both cases (Nazi pre-war Germany and the Authoritarian-leaning democracies of the West) share the same thing: the propagation (propaganda) of fear and nationalism. Think of the children is certainly a motto that Hitler used (I'm not going to bother to look up the references; they've been pointed out before on Slashdot). "Terrorism" too, was used as an excuse by Hitler; granted that much of his terrorism was contrived (like the Russian government bombings of residential buildings. Yes, I am aware that the Russians claim it was the Chechens. Western Intel AFAIK and have heard, seems to think differently).

Like the British and American public of 1930's, and much of Europe for that matter, people rationalized away their fears. The moderates in Germany at the time appeased the authoritarian measures as well. They kept thinking that a giving up a little freedom was politically expedient. Like the famous poem goes, people don't put much thought into things until it happens to them (ref: First they came [wikipedia.org] . Considering the fact the US has the most amount of people in jail than any other country in the world, I would be concerned (A popular and fairly good reference: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2494/does-the-united-states-lead-the-world-in-prison-population). Notice that I'm not talking about secret CIA prisons, MK-ULTRA type covert activities, etc., just the stuff that is well documented. Life is fine if you are "middle-class" and lucky enough not to piss off the wrong people. Don't hold your breath.

1 in 31 people in the U.S in .... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918641)

1 in 31 people in the U.S. are in prison, on parole or on probation.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29469360/

The U.S. has more people in prison that the Peoples Republic of China.

It doesn't really matter if it is an electronic Police state or not.

Surprisingly Interesting (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918671)

I clicked on the link, expecting some half-baked vilification of modern society, but aside from the inane introduction, the ranking system appears clear, logical, fair, and relevant.

England is a very curious case (5, Insightful)

Budenny (888916) | more than 4 years ago | (#27918937)

England is a very curious case. In law its in a situation in which any authoritarian government, having got itself elected, would never need to call another election. There are a host of measures which have been passed in the last ten years which would permit the suspension of Parliament and rule by decree. The terrorism legislation would allow such a government to imprison anyone it liked for any or no reason. Then there is the surveillance, which is on a scale only previously found in science fiction. All travel, all communication (including this post) are logged. Henry Porter's articles in the Guardian and Vanity Fair detail the whole thing. Recently an opposition Member of Parliament was arrested, on Parliament premises, on suspicion of 'conspiring to encourage misconduct in public office'. Well.

Yet, it is obvious that England is a far pleasanter and freer place to live than the countries it is being compared to. Its also obviously, if you look at the recent deep embarrassment of its politicians over expenses, ruled by people who feel accountable to public opinion in a way that none of the true authoritarian states do. You will still find vigorous debate in the media. Only today, for example, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian runs up one side of the Prime Minister and down the other, and calls on the Party to get rid of him in the next three weeks. There will shortly be elections, relatively properly run, and the goverment will take a huge hit, and will accept it.

What has happened is that a genuinely democratic party, elected admittedly on a flawed and not particularly representative electoral system with a minority of the vote, one which consists of pleasant and well meaning people, has gradually without realizing what it is doing, passed legislation which would enable the British National Party, should it ever take power, to be as unrestrained by legislative limits on its powers as the Nazi Party in Germany 1933.

At the moment what stands between the English and either left or right authoritarianism is tradition, an independent judiciary, and the goodwill of the ruling party. We are effectively Weimar, with all the legal framework any future government will need to turn us at will either into Nazi Germany or the GDR.

We just have to hope that the wrong people don't get elected. If they do, its all over.

CryptoHippie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27918945)

Why do I think this guy has an axe to grind? And any ranking that puts North Korea in the same bucket as the big western democracies has no crediblity.

This guy should try publishing his study there.

please name devices/activities qualifying for EPS (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 4 years ago | (#27919163)

my contribution for this is:

surveillance cameras per capita

PLEASE KEEP ON and evaluate better!

I think in this discussion also some quantitative data has to enter.

Like minor crimes / tickets issued based on monitoring/surveillance

From this one can make a guess how many major crimes can potentially be discovered.

And then one can plot of how many capital crimes done by corporations or governements went unsued.

like speculation, tax avoidance by off-shoring

and of course torture ( on behalf of government )

drug-business ( on behalf of government )

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