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Offshore Data Havens and Services

Crypto Anarchists,

I saw today a newspaper report that was initially surprising, then
utterly unsurprising (this is possible). Namely, that the "900" sex
service numbers, which have mostly been subjected to call blocking and
other forms of regulatory oblivion, have been moved _offshore_.
Surprised parents of teenaged children are discovering international
toll calls on their phone bills!

Short of barring international phone calls, the Feds can do nothing! I
love it!

I suppose if I followed the phone sex biz more closely, I'd've seen
this trend coming. (The "unsurprising" part of my realization is that
such moves offshore to avoid the regulations of one country are as old
as history. With the explosion in "degrees of freedom," which we
cypherpunks are riding, such movements become even easier.)

(Needless to say, the operators of such services can redirect the
calls back to the U.S., either via other phone lines, or via
high-speed networks. The Feds can do little.)

It really shows the "data transparency" of borders and the futility of
trying to legislate morality through technology. (For you worried
parents out there who worry about Junior calling these or any other
numbers, the "politically correct" (liberrtarian :-} ) solution is
also just about the only practical one: either control the phones
yourself, or have a persuasive talk with Junior, or just stop worrying
about who he calls--at least he won't get any diseases. The bad
solution, and the essentially unenforceable one, is to have the State
block certain calls, with or without the collusion of the phone

Things to Come:

* when will the first "personal data" agencies appear, which offer
dossier information for a fee? Information like rental records, skip
trace cases (deadbeats), alimony situation, arrests, etc. (I'm talking
about information which many of us need or want, but which "fair
credit reporting" laws forbid us to buy and sell. This is the "Mom and
Pop" data service I've talked about, where apartment owners,
landlords, employers, and ordinary people sell scraps of data--with
their actual or digital reputations on the line of course--to data
brokers who cross-correlate it in databases and then resell it.)

With these cypherspace tools (using remailers and some form of digital
money), we can have greater freedom in buying and selling data. This
may be criticized by some as "redlining," but I call it market

* preexisting medical conditions databases, similar to the above. (If
I'm thinking about insuring someone, it'd be nice to have some info
showing her lifestyle suggests a high risk.)

* data bases and information markets for medical research. Anyone
wanna buy some World War II medical experiment data? Banned in the
U.S. (really), but available on the digital black market...at least
some good will come of the deaths. (Cryonicists will be especially
interested in bootleg medical research networks, to handle the data
from voluntary suspension cases, the freezing of capital prisoners in
Third World countries, and similar cases where the market makes data
available that moralistic governments deem to be unethical or illegal.)

* to truly smash governments, we need to see the development of
information  markets for government secrets: Stealth bomber plans, CBW
formulas, Skipjack algorithms, locations of government facilities,
etc. (I don't envision this happening anytime soon, nor do I see it as
some kind of hackerish creation of the folks we usually deal with.
This'll take some money, some black market connections, and will not
just suddenly appear as a new newsgroup. It may already be forming in
certain circles...arms dealers, black marketeers, etc. What we can
offer with remailers, better encryption, digital money, and other
"cypherpunks" technology is a superior medium for exchange.)

Crypto anarchy is gonna change the world!


Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
[email protected]       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-688-5409           | knowledge, reputations, information markets, 
W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA  | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^756839 | Public Key: PGP and MailSafe available.
Note: I put time and money into writing this posting. I hope you enjoy it.