Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Information Wants to be Free UPDATE

This Magazine Staff

(image courtesy
Maybe this will be the first in a series of postings about our marvelous Internet, and the complicated issues it inspires.
The NYTimes reports on a New York City website encouraging regular citizens to rat on municipal employees potentially abusing their parking privileges in the city. Personal information such a license plates are displayed on the website, which has at least one NYC police officer understandably upset.
Here is a case of “public interest” advocacy bumping right up against the public interest. Here’s a less than complimentary comment from the site:
Way to go. Next time I do surveillance in the hood I have to worry about whether or not my car is listed as a cop car online!
How free do we want our free Internet info? Free enough to endanger the families of those who park where they shouldn’t?
You know, in Deadwood, where there are no laws and everyone is blissfully free, you can get shot in the eye for parking your horse in the wrong place.

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