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What troubles me is the apparently-universally-agreed idea that if you send somebody an e-mail or a text, then that is automatically part of the official record. That approach undermines the Internet as a way to provide remote communication comparable to "air interface" communication--i.e. voice.

If corrupt PM and corrupt rich person get together at a bar and talk about stuff, then unless there is a hidden tape recorder, there's no way to put that discussion into the record. Maybe that is good or maybe it is bad.

But if the same corrupt PM and corrupt rich person send the exact same message via SMS, suddenly it morphs into a digital message that is automatically public information. I suppose they could use e-mail and encrypt the text, but that seems a bit burdensome. Why is a text automatically a public record?

Not sure how to reconcile this...

by asdf on Mon Nov 5th, 2012 at 10:40:50 AM EST
Why is a text automatically a public record?

Because of its permanence. There is a record of it. While there is no record of spoken words, and thus they're not in the record.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 5th, 2012 at 10:45:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the good old days, what passed through the aether was also temporary, so radio was comparable to voice. Nowadays everything on the air is recorded, so apparently any two-way wireless communication is a candidate for being a record.

That's a technological argument. So if there is a network of microphones that collect every spoken word, and cameras collecting every sign language contortion, and those are recorded, they become records. The only thing that keeps anything out of the record is a lack of adequate recording technology.

by asdf on Mon Nov 5th, 2012 at 06:08:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What other argument do you want, than technological? As what is physically possible changes, so must legal concepts.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 5th, 2012 at 06:16:55 PM EST
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