Crime and Privacy
I got to admit that Scott makes an interesting argument for more == less. For those too lazy to read the article, here is his summary:
In general, whenever privacy is lost in a democracy, it creates an opportunity for freedom to increase. The mechanism looks like this:
1. A loss of privacy reveals how many people are involved in a particular activity and gives the public a chance to get used to it. (gays, weed, porn, etc.).
2. Law enforcement has no practical way to handle all of the “criminals” who are now exposed. And even trying would look like a bad use of resources.
3. Laws evolve to reflect what is practical. Formerly illegal activities become legal or tolerated because there is no practical alternative.
In the long run, privacy is toast. But what you will get in return is more personal freedom and less crime. That’s a trade that almost no one would voluntarily make, but I think the net will be good.
I can see a bit of what he is talking about and if the trend continues I would have to agree with his basic thesis.
As a side note, I personally doubt that we (as a society) will do away with anonymous currency all together. The government always wants to have a mechanism to untraceable pay their spies, etc., ignoring the influence of organized crime, etc. It may be much more difficult for the average joe to make anonymous transactions, but it can’t be too difficult or the very act of being anonymous will attract attention.