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Re: lookin' for a slogan for Tshirts
>Message-Id: <[email protected]>
>Subject: Re: lookin' for a slogan for Tshirts
>Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1993 13:28:36 -0500 (CDT)
>From: Jim McCoy <[email protected]>
>> "celebrating 4000 years of strong cryptography in the
>> hands of private citizens"
>A nice thought, but it is not quite true now, is it? Cryptography has been
>a tool for specialists, scholars, and governments for those 4000 years, but
>to claim that "the masses" have had access to it is clearly untrue. In
>fact, it seems that the current friction between groups such as this one
>and the U.S. governement is caused mostly because private citizens are
>beginning to get access to this strong cryptography and this is something
>"those who watch" do not like...
I meant precisely this. It is quite true.
I didn't say "the masses". In the old days, first you had to be
literate to use crypto. That excluded the masses immediately. However,
it was private citizens -- not military folks or diplomats -- who had
access to and who often invented the crypto.
I am concerned that you would continue to state the popular
misconception. This is, in fact, my one complaint with Julian's article
in the Village Voice.
Check out the first several chapters of David Kahn's "The
Cryptography originated with private individuals. Private
individuals have *always* had access to and used cryptography at least as
strong as that used by the military of the time. The few exceptions have
been very short-lived and rare.
My 4 examples for the T-shirt show a steady progression of strong
cryptography in the hands of private citizens. I stopped at 4 to keep from
making the T-shirt too busy.
I *really* recommend reading Kahn about this. The notion that
strong crypto in private hands is somehow new is totally bogus -- flattering
to those of us who like to think we're better off than our parents or
that we're exploring new ground -- but it's wrong and, even worse, it plays
into the hands of the NSA and FBI. Once you start saying that citizens
have "first time ever" access to strong crypto, the FBI is free to turn
around and say "OK - now the gov't will have first time ever power to
take strong crypto away from the people".