Public keys for municipal access and oversight - ideas?

Continuing the discussion from Oregon militiaman arrested after stealing wildlife reserve vehicle to go shopping:

What do you think? Do you actually trust the people you elect to do what they say? Are they as accountable to members of the public as vice-versa? Or do their procedures tend to obscure any meaningful oversight of their actions? Does being elected to office give them more right to privacy, or less?

This public key-card scheme is something I thought about a couple of weeks ago, and was thinking of creating a topic about anyway. But @daneel’s question related to it directly, so I thought that this was a good time to discuss it.


Wasn’t Robocop a satire upon privatization, rather than publicization?
Also, you omitted directive number four - “classified”.

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Are you suggesting ankle monitors and cameras for public officials?

It’s interesting to read Private Eye’s Rotten Boroughs section and see just how horribly corrupt (and overpaid) local officials are - I can’t imagine it’s any different in the US.

At least there is a recall system in the US.

Cameras, yes. And microphones. Many municipalities have cameras focused upon parks, stations, streets. But not upon the officials themselves, which is where the high-stakes crime actually happens. They often cite bogus figures and findings which the public has little option other than to take their word for. Through selective obfuscation, they can basically run things as they like - so long as it seems plausible enough and doesn’t spoil other official’s fun. The claim that public officials conducting public business need “privacy” to do this basically prevents any direct accountability. Trusting your government to investigate themselves is always fraught with conflicts of interest. Actual evidence of what is said in done in public trust seems like an obvious remedy.

I’ll need to look into that!

In the US, officials can typically be removed only if they do something explicitly illegal. Otherwise it tends to be dismissed as “They did what they had to do. You just have to trust us.” There is no mechanism to simply compel appointees to do their job, or elected officials keep their promises.

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