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AT&T, Canada, U.S., Clipper
> Subject: Re: BOYCOTT AT&T
> Date: Sat, 14 May 1994 20:07:37 -0400
> Reply-To: [email protected]
> In-Reply-To: <[email protected]>
> Lines: 40
> In a column written for the Toronto Sun today, former Canadian Defense
> Minister Perrin Beatty went on record as opposing the Clipper chip.
> His reasoning:
> "1) American policy can't apply around the world, and foreign companies
> will build equipment without the chip. Criminals will have ready
> access to scramblers without trap doors.
> 2) The code the chip inserts makes it easier to identify information
> from a particular source. Instead of simply being part of a
> computerized stew, each piece of data is more recognizable and can
> be readily decrypted by the electronic key.
> 3) If Canadian industry must include the chip in products sold in the
> U.S. and Canada, it will lose business to less buggable equipment
> from Asia or Europe.
> 4) The chip could open our diplomatic and commercial secrets to U.S.
> snooping. The Americans are our best friends and our interests are
> usually similar. But shouldn't we at least be cautious?
> 5) The requirement for a court order is fine if procedures are followed
> and no one breaches security, but what if the system breaks down?
> Should we rely on only one means of protection?"
It's interesting to me that these are all arguments most of the
anti-clipper types on 'punks have been bringing up from the beginning.
Mr. May and another poster have brought up the newbie complaint that no one
wants to debate current issues, and another poster again brought up the
good post, bad response syndrome. (Sorry I can't provide specific
credit) Perhaps this is part of the "problem."
Normally 'punks are right on these issues as they develop. There are a
few regular "collectors" or "rainmakers" on the list that bring in
prospective problems and issues before they hit the mass media with any
force. There are others who bring up the issues way in advance only
analytically, putting the pieces together to spot the issues before they
ever hit the media, or the policy makers. (Note that I don't assert the
issues flow in this order :) )
It seems that the 'punks are on top of the issues 3 months to a year in
advance consistently. (Perhaps a 1-900 number should be started? The
cypherpunk psychic friends network maybe?) This to me is one of the
great advantages and bonuses of the nexus between politics and
cryptography on the list. (Note that I'm the worst political distraction
By the time most newbies get on the list, and want to talk about current
events, they are old and cold on the list. I think sometimes the list
forgets the great sources, intellects and perspectives that float about
and as a result there isn't a great deal of sympathy for the newbies.
Are the cypherpunks a touch spoiled?
Regardless, I think Mr. May's idea for the golden oldies is a sound one.
No one wants to rehash all the old arguments again and again. I don't
know if a FAQ is the right approach or not, I though more like a quick
summary of arguments on each side of each issue, or more to Mr. May's
structure (I think) the original "essays" on the topics in question.
Perhaps majordomo could be convinced to send a pointer to the "FAQ" or
"Introduction to cypherpunks" with each subscribe request?
> My comments: Canada used to have that Saudi Arabia contract, so there
> may be some economics involved. On the other hand, Mr. Beatty is
> especially well informed and has shown an interest in privacy issues
> for some time.
This is apt analysis.
To me the issue is one of Canadian sovereignty and economic independence
despite NAFTA and outside the trade relations with America. The worst
part of NAFTA for the Canadians (IMHO) was the initial, short-term economic
dominance. You can see in the statement that the Canadian's hardly respect
or are likely to abide by American market influence when it has little to do
with free trade. Make an economic treaty with the United States and you get
some U.S. market regulation as well. Even if the treaty is about free trade
to begin with.
It still interests me that the list can be so on target and attuned to
the policy issues as to basically predict the response of non-American
governments. Perhaps the policy makers are using the wrong advisors.
Then again, it is right in line with American pomposity that the U.S.
policy makers either assume the rest of the world will fall in line,
assume they have the right analysis and perspective over all the other
inputs, or don't care one way or the other.
>>Karl L. Barrus: [email protected]
>>keyID: 5AD633 hash: D1 59 9D 48 72 E9 19 D5 3D F3 93 7E 81 B5 CC 32
>>"One man's mnemonic is another man's cryptography"
>> - my compilers prof discussing file naming in public directories
One country's geek is another country's policy maker?
Or did the former Canadian miss Woodstock too?
> Alex Brock