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Re: Australia, EU crypto ill news, crypto wars



Adam wrote:

> Ross Anderson <[email protected]> writes:
> > ... While at the conference, I found out that a classified meeting
> > took place this March in Germany between the signals intelligence
> > agencies of the developed countries, plus Australia and South Africa,
> > at which the assembled spooks agreed to press their governments to
> > bring in escrow and/or weak crypto.
............
> a) Lobbying - hopeless IMO, they aren't interested in listening, the
>    politicos are just too easy to manipulate and the "masses" aren't
>    clueful enough of what crypto means to understand the implications,
>    or even notice.

The "masses" are not that clueless (remember the 80% against Clipper
in a US poll a year ago). The problem 'here' in the EU is the smartly
construed distance between commons and rulers. We vote for members
of a debate club (who are very generously paid out of tax money)
lacking any power whatsoever. The EU decision on crypto-policy will
emerge from closed chambers of the Commission, and in every member
country the local politicians will announce that 'it has been decided
by EU and there is nothing we can do about it, even if we would like
to'. But this doesn't mean that national freedom-of-(crypto)speech
campaigns will be useless. Civil disobedience, still very common
amongst European citizens faced with ridiculous EU regulations, will
be more likely to thrive if the legitimacy of crypto regulations is
publically questioned in a continuous mode.

A significant difference between (for example) Sweden and USA
is the punishment scales. Suppose Sweden had an ITAR (which
it hasn't). Almost everyone would laughingly export PGP and Wei's
library anyway, because the remote possibility of prosecution (assuming
similarities with the current situation in the US) would hardly
feel like a threat. A conviction would result in a few 100$ fine,
maximum. In the US, where the even so remote possibility of conviction
just possibly might bring about 5 years as Buba's girlfriend, well,
that's a very different story.

An *enforced* ban on crypto in Scandinavia is remote enough that
I'm confident 'SuperStego for Windows' will be out in ver 7.3b by then.

Mats
Gynecologist & Crypto-Groupie