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Re: Lobbying/Politics/etc.

Ed Carp <[email protected]> sez:
> Consider a successful terrorist attack against a significant 
> group of innocents (the larger the number killed, the greater the horror 
> and shock value).  The terrorists were using PGP-encrypted email to plan 
> out the thing.
> Now, how long do you think it would take before ALL crypto was outlawed?  
> Who would benefit from such a thing?  Consider that it's child's play to 
> finance, arm, and train a group of people to conduct a terrorist attack 
> and (conveniently) they all get killed in their attack.  No one's going 
> to complain too loudly - after all, they *are* terrorists, right?

I suspect significant problems implementing a law that criminalizes
crypto.  The government currently spends $billions per year trying to
eliminate illegal drugs, to very little effect.  Drugs should be
easier to eliminate than crypto since phys-obs can't be copied ad
infinitum as bits can.

There's also the matter of recognizing crypto in use.  A program that
transforms its input so that the output can be converted back to the
input but has maximum entropy is a good compression program and might
also be an encryption program.  If a TLA taps my phone and finds a
mysterious bit sequence, how can they distinguish reliably and cheaply
between an encrypted conversation and a download of

I don't claim *they* can't try to outlaw crypto, and I certainly don't
claim they can't kill millions in the effort, but I *do* claim that
eliminating crypto is a very hard problem.

Inspired by my recently-arrived "Cypherpunk Criminal" t-shirt,