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Re: Apple+Clipper

It is very satisfying to me to see a post turn into a mini-debate (not
a flame...entirely too many debates are wrongly labelled as flames)
and then get resolved into a consens.

I agree with Scott that Apple is not likely to implement Clipper/etc.
anytime soon.

> Tim and Paul present accurate evidence mitigating some of my specific
> points.  I agree that the AV Macs and AOCE are steps (or even leaps)
> towards a platform favorable for clipper infestation.

This is all I meant, that _someone_ at Apple (and probably other
companies) is at least _talking_ to the Clipperpunks. Maybe it's just
"distant future" stuff, maybe it's industry panels, perhaps it's the
AOCE stuff Paul mentioned, and perhaps its the long-rumored telephone
product for the AV Macs (the true paranoid might see the failure of
Apple to unveil the modem and phone apps, using the DSP chip, as
evidence that Fort Meade has asked them to delay these products...as I
am not a true Xandor Korzybski-class paranoid, I will refrain from
such speculations!).

> These machines most certainly do not contain the clipper chip (which I'm
> sure Tim did not mean to imply), though they do show that Apple can make
> machines with special purpose hardware and capabilities not present, or
> emulatable, on earlier machines (this, I think, was Tim's point: a counter
> example to my speculation).

Yep, I was just making this point, that Apple is _already_ releasing
hardware with OS incompatibilities. (By the way, many/all? of the
newer Macs need a "system enabler" patch to run System 7.1, that is,
the standard System (OS) no longer runs on all machines. I could
easily see such patches for the AV Macs and the (debated) ClipperMacs.

> Other than that, and although they come to slightly different conclusions,
> I agree with Tim and Paul, who examined the root motives rather than
> 'diagnosing for symptoms'.  My final take on this is:

> Apples history and our guesses about its likely motives lead me to (still)
> predict that Apple can't immediately jump on the Clipper bandwagon; though
> the further out we speculate (beyond 2 years?), the less faith in this
> prediction we can justify.

On this we agree also. Moreover, when the "Clipper asteroid" is
possibly heading in your direction, but is still very far off, a
relatively small nudge can have great effect.

I'm not suggesting we rise up in righteous anger and march in front of
Spindler's offices, but we should keep in the back of our mind the
_possibility_ that makers of computer-based phones or conferencing
systems: Apple, IBM, NeXT _cubes_, SGI "Indy," and perhaps
Soundblaster folks...though I am even more skeptical that independent
DSP board makers could be brought into the Clipper fold.

If the NIST/NSA group wants Clipper/Capstone/etc. deployed widely,
then it would make sense for them to be working with computer and
multimedia companies. Else, in several years these DSP-based schemes
will have proliferated beyond any hope of control.

An outcome devoutly to be wished.

-Tim May

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.