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Registering Keys with Big Brother

Re:  Some angles of attack

>2nd amendment (original grounds: protection against tyrrany)

I've thought for a year or so now that if the State Department was
going to class cryptography as munitions, then they have _de jure_
acknowledged that civilian use of cryptography is protected under the
Second Amendment.  Cryptography is not a weapon and should not be
restricted for public safety reasons.

>1st amendment.  Re the latter, a lawyer I spoke with some years ago,
>proposed the idea that freedom of speech in some cases depends on the
>ability for the speaker to determine who will and who will not
>receive what is said.

This criterion may be valid, but I don't think it's needed.  As I
understand it, the restrictions on speech that do exist restrict 1)
certain contents, not speech as such, and 2) speech which is public,
not private.  Encrypted text, by the fact that it is encrypted, is
intended to be removed from the public domain.  And restricting the
transmission of encrypted text based on some assumed content is prior

I'm not sure that any of these arguments really touch a key
registration proposal, unfortunately.  Guns may be sold, but also
registered.  It is not the speech that is restricted, but the privacy
from the Justice Dept. which is restricted.

What I suspect may be more effective is to argue, based on the Tenth
(or Ninth? I get them confused) Amendment, that the Federal Government
has not been granted specific power to require the registration of key
material under any of its other powers.

>Then of course there is always good oldfashioned civil disobedience.

But the percentage of users of cryptography for communications is a
small percentage of the total population as of yet.