'otherwise “she would have found her way back to us.”'
March 20, 2015 6:57 AM   Subscribe

 
There are a lot of previous on this
posted by k5.user at 7:11 AM on March 20, 2015


The point is this - peace without justice is a false peace. It really bothers me how many people are arguing that justice needs to be deferred.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:01 AM on March 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Inspired by the Belfast Project imbroglio, I've been thinking through a "time capsule encryption" project, by which libraries like mine can accept donations like these -- or like Supreme Court Justices' papers/emails/etc en masse on a hard drive -- and have them fully encrypted until certain conditions are met, as judged by trusted fiduciaries in multiple jurisdictions. To subpoena early will require assembling all the keys (like Horcruxes!) from each jurisdiction, raising the cost of casual grabbing while leaving open the prospect of early recovery if all fiduciaries agree. (The other possibility is to try to encrypt in a way that simply takes a long time to crack, and there are some papers out there about that, but it's tricky.)

As more and more of our digital trail becomes more effort to delete than to keep, it's troubling that all of it is a "mere" subpoena away.
posted by zittrain at 8:18 AM on March 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


As more and more of our digital trail becomes more effort to delete than to keep, it's troubling that all of it is a "mere" subpoena away.

So, why is that troubling to you? I find your idea to be the more insidious, as it strikes me as being a technological middle finger to the rule of law.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:33 AM on March 20, 2015


I know nothing about the law. But isn't it akin to entrapment to promise confidentiality for an oral history and then let a legal system use it as evidence? People thought they were taking these stories to their graves. That they should never have been promised confidentiality is one part of the mismanagement of the affair. But they were, so it seems underhanded to then use their involvement in what they thought was a valuable academic exercise against people. I very much doubt there will be any comeback for Adams over this no matter what the tapes contain (don't get me started on him), and it doesn't seem to be about justice as much as it's about political point-scoring.
posted by billiebee at 8:42 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


NoxAeternum: The point is this - peace without justice is a false peace.
At what cost justice? Are you saying SA's reconciliation is a bad idea, and Gandhi's path is false (since he didn't ask for retributions against Great Britain for the atrocities)?
posted by IAmBroom at 8:44 AM on March 20, 2015


The point is this - peace without justice is a false peace.

As long as two sides have different ideas about what "justice" entails, this seems to me a recipe for endless reprisals and endless conflict.
posted by echocollate at 9:00 AM on March 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


The point is this - peace without justice is a false peace.

Ah yes...who's going to figure out when justice has been served? I think, if the past has shown us anything, that the search for justice only ends in violent retribution. The only chance for lasting peace is to remove at least a generation from the culture of violence and an atmosphere of occupation and oppression.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:32 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


At what cost justice? Are you saying SA's reconciliation is a bad idea, and Gandhi's path is false (since he didn't ask for retributions against Great Britain for the atrocities)?

The South African process of truth and reconciliation was a form of justice, because a core aspect of the process was to put forth the crimes and atrocities into the records, and make them an indelible part of history. That way, they couldn't be disappeared and made to vanish.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:42 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I know nothing about the law. But isn't it akin to entrapment to promise confidentiality for an oral history and then let a legal system use it as evidence? People thought they were taking these stories to their graves. That they should never have been promised confidentiality is one part of the mismanagement of the affair. But they were, so it seems underhanded to then use their involvement in what they thought was a valuable academic exercise against people.

For all the ire against the UK government for requesting these tapes, the Belfast Project well and truly screwed up.

And for those discussing justice:

One of the men who had abducted Jean now drove a black taxi up and down the Falls Road. Occasionally, Michael hailed a cab and climbed inside only to discover this man behind the wheel. Michael never said anything—he couldn’t. He rode in silence, then handed the man his fare.
posted by Thing at 10:06 AM on March 20, 2015


I think law and tech have gone back and forth, Nox. The subpoena observation applies not just to law enforcement but to any private litigant, and the trove of stuff available has expanded enormously. Would you consider encrypting one's own files to be flipping the bird to law, too? In this case the encryption would put the data beyond even the donor's reach -- basically everyone's reach for, say, fifty years, for the benefit of history.

Billiebee, I think it's not entrapment since the library wasn't an agent of the state, nor was telling the story itself a crime by the interviee -- they're just presumably talking about past crimes. So a police officer can talk you up at a bar as a stranger and see if you voluntarily spill information about a past crime. (And no Fifth Amendment problem since you're not being held or pressured to talk!) But it was surely a problem for the library to promise a level of confidentiality that it could not maintain.
posted by zittrain at 10:17 AM on March 20, 2015


I coulda sworn this was going to be about Hart Island.... that's really where literally millions of bodies are buried.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:19 AM on March 20, 2015


Would you consider encrypting one's own files to be flipping the bird to law, too?

In of itself no. But when used as a tool to complicate and potentially frustrate legitimate legal requests - then I think a line has been crossed there.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:21 AM on March 20, 2015


a core aspect of the process was to put forth the crimes and atrocities into the records, and make them an indelible part of history. That way, they couldn't be disappeared and made to vanish

Yes, but what makes NI different to SA is that there was a change of government in SA. One of the parties who would have to commit to a genuine Truth and Reconciliation process is the British Government who are suspected of collusion with loyalist paramilitaries. They are not going to put their "crimes and atrocities" into public record.

Thing that is not an uncommon occurrence. Some people here have to watch the people who did their families harm do more than freely drive taxis. Some (many) of them are in our local government.
posted by billiebee at 10:23 AM on March 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Thanks for posting. The New Yorker article as very difficult to read.
posted by josher71 at 7:36 AM on March 25, 2015


But it was surely a problem for the library to promise a level of confidentiality that it could not maintain.

Did they know this, though?
posted by josher71 at 7:38 AM on March 25, 2015


Wasn't that something they should have made themselves 100% sure of before they offered it?
posted by billiebee at 1:23 PM on March 25, 2015


I don't know what they thought they knew. I'm assuming they thought they were 100 percent sure. Lots of people think things are 100 percent the case and the supreme court disagrees.
posted by josher71 at 4:17 PM on March 25, 2015


Good article here on the issues.
posted by josher71 at 4:27 PM on March 25, 2015


That was a great article. Some of it I knew, but there was a lot of detail that was new to me.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:53 AM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


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