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Making the World Safe for

To: [email protected]

H>As another example, suppose the government banned non-Clipper 
H>Despite the brave comments of some, I think it would be very hard
H>to overcome such a ban.  

H>My main point is that we cannot rely on the technology to save us.  A
H>concerted government effort could, in my opinion, stifle the growth of
H>individual liberties that cryptography may offer.  Clipper is just one
H>battle in this longer war.  We can't afford to fall victim to a smug
H>confidence that victory will inevitably be ours.  If we get to the 
H>that steganography is the only way to communicate privately, we will 
H>Hal Finney
H>[email protected]

Hal, the point is that the government actions you fear are politically 
unlikely and would be limited to one nation in any case.  Par example - 
humorous letter to the editor in today's NYT from someone I'll call 
"Clueless in New Jersey."  He promotes the idea of a 1% tax on the markets 
for currencies and derivatives (because they are volitile, unproductive 
and hurt governments).  Even before the passage of such a tax, the 
currency traders would have relocated themselves (physically or virtually) 
to an untaxed location.  

They nice thing about the modern communications environment is not strong 
crypto, steganography, or anonymous networks (though these are fun) it is 
the ability to randomie your physical location while still living as full 
and productive life as you used to live when tied down to one spot.  The 
multiplying power of the new technologies also llows you to "run a Fortune 
500 corporation" from your back pocket as informal work groups form and 
disband as needed.

Crackdowns by a single government will just speed up the process of people 
becoming Permanent Tourists (PTs).  The control problems experienced by 
modern States do not grow out strong crypto (which is not yet deployed) 
but out of the growing relative power of individuals.  
Power=Choice=Control.  If we have power (the ability to jet anywhere on 
earth at the speed of sound for 1 or 3 week's average salary) we can make 
choices and control ourselves.  If we control ourselves others lose 
control over us.  

The individual's natural organiational superiority over larger entities 
(my right hand rarely wheels on in to federal court to force me to file an 
environmental impact statement before defecation) when enhanced by modern 
technology weakens those less organied institutions.

Remember laws are *not* self-enforcing.  The success of their legal regime 
depends upon obedience by the populace.  Does anyone out there see 
obedience and deference *increasing*?  I don't.  If disobedience keeps 
increasing, at some point the rules will be meaningless.  

Duncan Frissell

November 10th 1989 - Berlin Wall - Death for unauthorized crossing
November 11th 1989 - No Berlin Wall  
Sic semper tyrannis - "What a Difference a Day Makes"

--- WinQwk 2.0b#0