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CAKE--Citizens Against Key Escrow

Hey cypherfolks. It seems to me that the fundemental issue of the
acceptability of key escrow is not getting debated well enough in the
mainstream media. The Clipper debate keeps getting framed in terms of
`who will be the escrow agencies' or `how secure is the algorithm
really' or whatever. Also, I'm a bit disappointed in both EFF and CPSR
not coming out with firm positions *against* key escrow systems in
general (CPSR spokesman: `I don't want to sound too stridently
opposed...').  We have something of a void.  The problem is that the
stance is seen as anti-law enforcement by these organizations (or they
are afraid it will be perceived that way).

Anyway, as part of the propaganda effort, I am proposing starting a new
`group' called the Citizens Against Key Escrow. (Now, don't get too
excited.) To start out, what would be ideal is just a document
describing Clipper, a lot of anti-Clipper propaganda, and the appended
*signatures* of everyone who is a `member' of CAKE and affirms the
position `unlimited and unrestricted use of strong cryptography is an
inalienable right.'

Please do *not* mail me saying that you want to sign it. I'm not ready.
In particular, I'd like to propose that a patriotic cypherpunk set up a
mini-email server to handle signature additions, so that people can
send automated messages. Then, when this is posted to sci.crypt and
circulated to every dark corner of Cyberspace, the ability to handle
the traffic will be automatic, and hopefully we will collect *many*
signors. (Yes, there could be tricky authentication issues with names.
I would like to see the utmost attention given to the veracity of
signors if possible. If `David Sternlight' makes it to the list we know
its fake, and people could criticize it on that ground. Maybe some way
to `contest signatures' via email--if a signature is contested it is removed?) 

By the way, the supposed `comprehensive policy review' blared in the
Clipper announcement by the Clinton adminstration regarding
cryptographic policies (export, freedom of use, etc.) is rumored to be
over in mid-September. Surprise, they haven't contacted us yet! This
document would be something tangible to present and herald to them
*prior* to a big ugly hand-me-down announcement. If we got press
coverage of our view, saying that we're being excluded, that these are
the real issues at stake, and then the real announcement came out
shortly thereafter with all the inevitable bad news, it would be a great PR coup.

Anyway, here are some propaganda items that will be included in the
final document if this actually happens. I'd really appreciate if
anyone would contribute *specific* paragraphs. (I've never really
gotten great response from this kind of query, despite a lot of lip
service and excitement, and judging by the current Cypherpunk FAQ this
is not uncommon, but I'm the eternal optimist.)

- Description of Clipper
- Emphatic terms: we think Skipjack could be a strong algorithm, but
key escrow is inappropriate for a civilized cyberspatial society
- of course, we're not against law enforcement in general! we just
believe that just as the government currently has the capability to
wiretap insecured communications, the public has a right to thwart
wherever it wants with it secured
- Debate on security of key agencies, who will be `it' etc. are
smokescreen decoys by the NSA
- Indications that key escrow is not the actual fundamental motivation
of Clipper, from FOIA documents (the classification of the national
security reasons), the rather pathetic circumlocutions about vaults and
the agencies, etc.
- Maybe a little history of NSA and the abuses from Bamford
- Jefferson as cryptographic innovator, other revolutionaries requiring
anonymity and security in their writing
- Constitutional issues: freedom of speech and illegal search & seizure
- cryptographic device export restriction by the NSA
- Quotes from the FBI and NSA: cryptography is like nitroglycerin, we
might have a lot of dead bodies lying around, all the waffling quotes
about whether cryptography should be regulated, etc.

If you have anything on the above, please send it! In particular I need
`mini-essays'.  This is another project that everyone can contribute to
and prove we're not just a bunch of listless, noisy, inconsequential
nihilists. (Once again, my optimism overshadows my memory.)