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Re: How far is to far?
I must concur with George Gleason's remarks about "sneaking around in
the shadows of legality". I find myself getting a little uncomfortable
with some of the more anarchistic ideas expounded in this and similar
My interest in cryptography is very simple. I'm not interested in
overthrowing the government by force. Although I find "digital cash"
to be an interesting concept worthy of pursuit at least as an academic
exercise, I'm not trying to evade income taxes, establish an
underground economy or conceal criminal activity. And although I do
believe that drugs, gambling, prostitution and other vices ought to be
legalized on both practical and philosphical grounds, I am not
particularly interested in using cryptography to protect the lowlifes
who inhabit these professions.
I am *very* interested, however, in cryptography's enormous potential
to protect individual privacy. With widely available strong
cryptography, the average individual will finally have the technical
means to draw a tight circle around the private aspects of his or her
life. The individual need let no one, especially the government, enter
without his or her permission.
Until now, we have had to depend entirely on the goodwill of
government to respect and obey those provisions of the Bill of Rights
that deal with privacy. Often this "good will" has been sadly lacking.
But now we can finally put some real teeth into the guarantees of the
First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments. If you want to plot political
strategy for an upcoming election, or if you want to talk to your
attorney about some legal action, or even if you just want to discuss
your sex life with your spouse or SO, cryptography can guarantee you
an unprecedented degree of privacy. Just as good fences make good
neighbors, we may well find that in the hands of the people, good
cryptography will make for good government.
That's why I find cryptography so interesting, and that's how we
should sell it to the public.