Thoughts on Keybase

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Wed Jan 7 04:27:10 CET 2015

> We know he was standing with a smoking gun, close to a body on the
> ground. We should be investigating what happened, not wasting our time
> with yesterday's food and the last three years' commuting habits.

Unfortunately, unless you’re psychic this is impossible.  You don’t know what information will be relevant.  You’ll never discover “the dead guy spilled a hot coffee all over the other guy yesterday, and they had an argument, and the guy said he was going to kill him for spilling coffee” unless you interview the barista where the shooter had a cup of coffee yesterday.

> "Who they are" in the sense of "what their name is" is obviously
> irrelevant to whether they fired the gun.

The police’s job isn’t just to see whether a person fired the gun; it’s also to determine why, and whether more crimes are likely connected. If the dead guy is named McCoy and the living one is named Hatfield, that’s a strong hint the death is connected to a blood feud and the police need to be on the lookout for revenge killings.

> And I contend the vast
> majority of "choices this person has made over time" would be
> similarly unconnected to that night's events.

Yes.  But some would likely be.  You don’t know what information will be relevant.

> The authorities need to prove guilt. The suspect does not need to
> prove innocence.

Only true in certain countries.

> There are those who disagree, and insist on Criminal Record checks
> when an individual interacts with them in a context completely
> unrelated to any crime - such as a job application.

Not a privacy invasion, since that’s a public record.

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