The answer to most of the questions preceding is "yes." Yes to politics,
yes to divisions, yes to shields, yes to undergrounds. And beyond that I'm
getting into areas I can't talk about just now.
As far as non-Psi Corps telepaths...you have to remember what I said at
Wishcon: no one is stomping down non-PC telepaths (at least, not officially).
Telepaths are recruited for the PC, and the attraction there is that your
abilities will be honed, and you will be given what amounts to permanent job
security: you're bonded, you can testify as an unimpeachable witness in court,
you function as a sort of mental Notary Public, there are an awful lot of
benefits, plus working with others of your kind.
If you're a non-PC telepath, you do what you want. IF you are found to
have violated someone's privacy and stolen information (and this is hard to
prove on the best of days), then there are laws under which you may be
charged. When you license something like telepathy, there have to be laws on
privacy.ere diLaws on electronic eavesdropping didn't exist before the devices
themselves came into existence; once we knew they were there, we legislated.
Is this at times unfair to telepaths? Absolutely. And this is one thing
that I have to hammer at hardest...this is not the perfect, benign Federation
style government. It's flawed, and may not at all times be operating in the
best interests of its citizens. There are wheels within wheels, agencies
within agencies. After 25 years of Federation-think, people say, "Well, why
would they do this to this group of people, that's not right." No, it's not.
Ours is a different universe. And this will lead to pressure cooker
situations. And conflict. Which is at the core of good drama...and which
underlines the present as well, in that things aren't perfect or fair now,
either. If everybody agreed on how everybody else should be treated, we
wouldn't require courts.