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

Re: Laws Outside the U.S.

>From: [email protected] (Alex de Joode)
>Date: Tue, 20 Sep 94 22:24:56 +0200

>There are basicly four scenario's that a state can follow to
>regulate crypto:

> - outlaw it totally
> - key depositing
> - try to develop a standart

> - do nothing

>The most prosperous scenario. Crypto use will boom, but
>lawenforcement agencies will be deprived from a useful
>tool, they can't bug phones any more.

I think this is wishful thinking on our parts.  Crypto would have to be
built-in and automatic (not even a button push required to activate it)
before I think you'd see much of a user community.  Even then, some people
might encounter key exchange problems and beg for a button to *disable*

Until you see a substantial percentage of the population using crypto, I
don't think law enforcement will have any problem.  They'll worry about
drug dealers as a new potential threat, but have them read Kahn about Rum
Runners (in a chapter with that in the title).


To me, it's obvious that this isn't a real LE problem.  That leaves open
the question of why the US and others want to limit crypto.

I think part of the answer comes from the USACM report, in the second
paragraph of chapter 4.

"The development of telecommunications in the 19th century, first via cable
and later by radio, presented a challenge to national security so severe as
to challenge the very notion of national sovereignty.  Nations could still
regulate the flow of people and products across their borders, but in a
process that continues unabated, news, ideas, and information began to
travel in channels far harder to control."

This sounds like either a Cypherpunk or Clint Brooks wrote it.  I'd guess
the latter but I think they'd both be wrong.

Since when have nations seen their people as imprisoned?  We limit the
speech of prisoners, but of citizens?  When did nations ever care about
limiting the speech of citizens, before the middle of this century (with
the advent of OSS/CIA thinking)?  Was travel prohibited?  Were private
conversations with foreigners prohibited?


So -- the argument is bogus.  Why advance it?

My answer: because the Agency advancing it (with cypherpunks as unwitting
accomplices) wants to create the perception of a threat of loss of power
in those who have power (Congress, President) so that they'll give 
state-of-emergency powers to the appropriate Agency to fight back.

Net result:  no real threat; real increase in power for one Agency.

|Carl M. Ellison			Phone: (301) 854-6889		     |
|Trusted Information Systems, Inc.	FAX:   (301) 854-5363		     |
|3060 Washington Road							     |
|Glenwood MD  21738			E-mail: [email protected]		     |
|									     |
|RIPEM MD5OfPublicKey:       39 D9 86 06 86 A9 F0 75  A9 A8 3D 49 58 9C 67 7A|
|PGP 2.6.1 Key fingerprints: E0 41 4C 79 B5 AF 36 75  02 17 BC 1A 57 38 64 78|
|			     61 E2 DE 7F CB 9D 79 84  E9 C8 04 8B A6 32 21 A2|