Discussion Board

Topic: Citizen Oversight

From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose
Date: 08/13/2007

Dear Mr. Bear,
I believe you originally discussed "Citizen Oversight" in Queen of Angels (a book my wife has read at least four times!). Just curious whether your thoughts ont his interesting idea had evolved over the past few years, given the political fallout over 9/11.

Thank you

Re: Citizen Oversight

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/13/2007

I've been thinking about Citizen Oversight (public surveillance systems and their data must be accessed through a special, citizen-oriented court) for some time now. It seems like an increasingly necessary program--though I doubt law enforcement officials would think much of it. We're heading into a time of not just increased surveillance, but reduced legal safeguards and a severely weakened or ignored constition.

Re: Citizen Oversight

From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose, CA
Date: 08/15/2007

My wife and I were speculating whether there'd be any way to keep the citizen oversight process and court from becoming corrupted. The only approaches we came up with were unrealistically restrictive on the people running the operation. It'd be fascinating to see you take another swing at this in a future book. And yes, this is definitely a plea for a Queen of Angels/Slant follow up. Among your very best.

Thank you

Re: Citizen Oversight

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/15/2007

Definitely worth more careful thought about safeguards. One of our principal problems with current leadership is that they believe safeguards--or for that matter, any prior structure--impedes their ability to protect. They're all too burned out or too inexperienced to avoid the Dirty Harry fallacy. The result is they get tangled in their own webs of deception, and perform less efficiently than they would have had they followed the old rules. Happens every time--and every time, those who fail blame their critics. Then they get jobs on talk radio and spread their awful nonsense to another clueless generation.

Re: Citizen Oversight

From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose, CA
Date: 08/15/2007

Gotta kill freedom to preserve it! I'm guessing Orwell and Cheney would not have been best of friends.

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