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Re: NSA Realists v. Nuts (Was: Re: Crypto APIs)

At 05:02 PM 10/5/95 -0400, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
>"James A. Donald" writes:
> > They want to rule over us.  [...] There is no commonality of
> > purpose, hence no possibility of cooperation.   

At 05:02 PM 10/5/95 -0400, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> I disagree. Most NSA types are probably stock government employees 
> who want to get their job done with the least muss and fuss. 
> [...]
> I don't think the NSA is inherently the enemy at all. Signals 
> intelligence and protecting the U.S. and its citizens from signals 
> intelligence is probably necessary. 

Naturally members of an organization wish the organization to become 
great and powerful:  A great and powerful Netscape would be a 
Microsoft.  A great and powerful NSA would be a KGB or an SS.

Naturally everyone likes their job to meaningful, everyone likes 
their job to have an impact.  Everyone wants to be important.  If the 
NSA are eyes without hands, they are impotent, they are useless.  So 
they want hands.  They want information about us to be used by the 
government, which means they want the government to exercise detailed 
control over us in response to their detailed information about us.

Our function lust would, if fulfilled, give us only moderate 
satisfaction, their function lust, if fulfilled, would give them 
vast power, and hence vast satisfaction.

Our function lust, if fullfilled, would give us more power over computers. 
Their function lust, if fullfilled, would give them more power over us.

> However, in general, what you are looking at is just the
> result of an entity trying to preserve itself having access to
> governmental force. I doubt that there are many "national domination"
> types in the agency, 

Despite grandstanding by the republicans, no government agency has ever
been closed down, or suffered layoffs, merely because its function became 
completely obsolete.  (Though some have suffered renamings and reshuffles, 
and some have been allowed to shrink through natural attrition)

The guys who used to control prices in the trucking industry now work 
full time regulating each other.  (I kid you not)  We are still stockpiling
helium to lift a fleet of dirigibles for world war one.  (Like Dave Barry, 
I am not making this up, though the Republicans have planned to close down 
the helium agency.)

Job preservation is irrelevant:  They are government employees.  
Power is the issue.

We have the right to defend ourselves	|   http://www.jim.com/jamesd/
and our property, because of the kind	|  
of animals that we are. True law	|   James A. Donald
derives from this right, not from the	|  
arbitrary power of the state.		|   [email protected]