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SOCIETY: crypto impact



Like any new technology, selling crypto to the public will be
difficult at first.  I'll bet the telephone, something so vital to
today's society it is difficult to imagine functioning without it, was
tough to get going.

PROPONENT: "Just imagine the service and convenience!"

OPPONENT: "What services and conveniences?  I visit the people I want
           to talk to and conduct my business withing 5 miles of home."

At the time there were no neat services or conveniences.  Buying into
new technology will cause resistance, since people are not going to
miss what they do not have.

However, I think some crypto technology will be easier to sell than
others.  It should be easy to convince people of the need for good
encryption, the kind that can protect you or your company's financial
information, mail, ideas, etc.  Also, digital signatures and
authentication techniques should face little resistance.

Now, anonymous remailers and other privacy methods will be a little
harder :-)  (witness the debate over anonymous speech occuring right
now!)

On a related note, it is amazing how much information about you
exists.  Did anyone else watch a PBS documentary about this (sorry, I
can't remember the name of it)?  In the report, a writer researched
how direct mail marketing departments seek out infomation - from going
to the county court house and obtaining property and deed information,
to using census information to classify your living habits,
professional organizations you belong to, catalogs for mailing lists
of various interests, etc.  Some supermarkets were even testing a
system in which your purchases (scanned by the bar code reader) are
saved and indexed by your credit card or check!  Banks could then sell
this extremely valuable information to direct mail houses.

/-----------------------------------\
| Karl L. Barrus                    |
| [email protected]             | <- preferred address
| [email protected] (NeXTMail) |
\-----------------------------------/