[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
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,