That's interesting, and in my opinion it goes quite in the same direction of a recent post on bitesizebio.com regarding the pitfalls of peer review. Lack of ethics.
I've listened to a lot of stories. Those about students faking their results are the most common. I've had to lock my reagents for a while too, in the past. I also had one paper ridiculously, openly hampered in peer review.
Well, in my opinion the scientific community is still more an utopia rather than a democracy. You know, like those little, strange, closed societies of people who built small villages to stay on their own, and proclaimed that everybody's brother of everybody else, everything belongs to everybody and should be shared, we should all love each other, and such. Socialism, at its beginnings, was not so much different from that. Internet totally was, and mostly still is, like that.
And it's really a nice thing and it does work, as long as you have a small community of sharing, loving, honest people. But unlike more "sharky" regimens such as capitalism, utopias are founded on the assumption that the high moral ethics of human beings will prevail upon selfish instincts; that society naturally tends to an equilibrium and thus, no strict rules are needed, just some bland form of overlooking and distribution.
Since we all know too well that high moral ethics are not included in the base model of human beings, this lack of rules eventually leads to two results:
1) some people soon discover that being honest and helping the brotherhood gives you satisfaction, but being selfish brings you more satisfaction - aka unequality and crime;
2) the "trusted" overlookers/controllers soon discover that they're being trusted by default, so they can do mostly whatever they please and nobody will ask - aka sopruse and corruption.
In sharky systems, such as capitalism, you start with the opposite assumption - man's nature is selfish, and the big fish will always try to eat the small fish. So, even if you think that fish eating is just in fishes' nature, you are fully aware that the system will not tend to an equilibrium by itself, so you're forced to build your society with a strict series of rules to avoid the total loss of small fishes. You also try to ensure that controllers, the biggest fishes of all, do not start nibbling here and there.
Think about the internet. It was all HTTP and telnet, and everybody was happy. Then e-commerce started, and who'd put his credit card number on a happy, sharing, communal network? Nobody. That's where secure protocols have their business now.
In science, we had a beautiful, universal community of high-ethics, sharing, confident people that mostly had few, local money but lots of ideas.
Then e-commerce came in the form of billion-dollar grants. High positions. Publish or perish. And we can't pretend the system to work smoothly on telnet anymore. We can't pretend that high moral ethics are preventing your postdoc to harass other students or fake their own results, or your neighbouring lab head to peek on your data, or your competitor to slow down the peer review of your paper, or your antagonist research network to happily edit and review each other's papers. If it can happen, sooner or later it will happen. So, I guess that if we want to avoid undisciplined paranoia, we need some regulamentation... Now, in my lab, I try to keep things straight. In the scientific community, I'm the small fish, so don't look at me.
(And yes, I do FISH. Heheh).