Constabulary: Watch out for well-meaning men of zeal

That’s a quote from Louis Brandeis that we ought to keep in mind when evaluating the LAPD’s new iWATCH initiative.

The inconvenience of the correct way of doing things parallels that of democracy. Just as it would be much easier to put an effective (and benevolent) dictator in charge of things, so it would be fantastic to collect everybody’s reports of suspicious behavior.  

It’s taking people a long time to realize that there are no procedures for running a humanist society — only a handful of very clear prohibitions. Encouraging civilians to denounce each other is one of them. (via reddit)