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March 1993 Communications of ACM Denning on Encryption
I've just read with considerable distress the Dorothy Denning article in
my March 1993, Communications of the ACM and all the follow up
discussions supporting or refuting her positions. I can not in any way
support the further erosion of the rights I believe I have to personal
privacy and protection from the abuses of government. I'm contacting
the EFF as a concerned member and the ACM Risk forum... are there
more actions we can and should take?
Professor Denning does not convince me of the benevolence of the
government nor the necessity for private enterprise to foster
government programs (such as building in wire tap support or reducing
the effort of government agencies to invade private messages or
interactions amongst citizens). A precidential extension might have
the auto makers building in governors into all vehicles such that they
can't exceed the national speed limit to support traffic law
enforcement (the crooks couldn't have faster cars than the cops).
I'd suggest cypherpunks get and read the article if they haven't already
done so (it covers both wire tap and , as a not too subtle tag on,
encryption availability). I'd also suggest we direct our responses to
those who can derail this or similar legislation with the EFF and ACM
as two likely candidates and congress folks as additional ones.
My personal professional dilemma is how can I raise consciousness
of the quiet majority who will not immediately be impacted... like my
retired parents who fear computers like the flu and still have a strong
belief that the government protects their rights rather than restricts
them. Their response to Steve Jackson's tiff with the treasury
department and law enforcement was along the lines that if he had
nothing to hide the government wouldn't have bothered him.
Still watching quietly, worried, and now letting others know...