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Crypto's Role in Evil?
Surely most of you know of my interest in enhancing liberty and freedom
through strong crypto. (The many newcomers to the list in the wake of the
Netscape news may not, but take my word for it...)
And I have clearly indicated that many of the implications of strong
crypto, anonymous remailers, untraceable digital money, data havens, and so
on, will severely undermine many programs that some people think are useful
and good. We avoid discussing these issues so as to avoid ideological flame
wars, but the effects are still there. In the view of some of us, strong
crypto and the swirl of ideas called "crypto anarchy" will mean that the
transactions people enter into are the ones they wish to enter into. No
more "affirmative action," no more transfer payments to the indigent and
lazy (or to anyone else, except by personal choice), no more quotas, no
more workplace rules (at least in cyberspace). Transnationalism, regulatory
(Granted, this Cyper-Millenium may not arrive by the time the real
millenium arrives, and the precise form is unclear. But there is little
doubt that the strong crypto most of us advocate will strongly advance the
"libertarian" agenda, and will have very negative effects on "traditional
liberalism" and law-based "social justice" policies. My personal view is
that an ever-shrinking elite (20%, then 10%, then 2%, ...) will dominate
high-value transactions, with the mass of humanity offering little or
nothing worth buying. Just my view.)
But Lucky Green has touched on some items I feel dutybound to comment on:
At 8:19 PM 10/8/95, Lucky Green wrote:
>Let me illustrate this with an example. During my visit to Dachau
>Concentration Camp, I saw original lab notebooks of experiments designed
>to increase the survial rate of pilots downed above the cold waters of the
>North Sea. A noble cause.
>The notebooks contained pages upon pages of tables listing survial times
>vs. water temperature, the data gained by dropping subjects into a tub
>containing water of a defined temperature.
There are places and countries which are attempting to outlaw the _use_ of
these Nazi medical experiments.
The implication: Nazi medical data will be one of the first sorts of
information to go into Cypherpunk data havens. Maybe not put there by
Lucky, maybe not even by me (though I see nothing wrong with using the
data...the Jews are dead, and not using the data does not bring them back,
People need to at least think about what our anonymous remailers and data
havens are likely to involve. Consider some entries:
- results of Japanese medical research on Chinese captives in Manchuria
(apparently the experiments were extensive, and American doctors gained
access after the war...the experiments gave us our first lead on biological
warfare, as the Japanese had exposed a lot of captives to various toxins
and biological agents)
- results of experiments on live subjects in Third World nations (right now
it is "uneconomical" to do much of this, because of the lack of a market
for the data)
- data on RU-486 abortifacients and similar drugs, and at least _some_
people think abortion is murder.
(I hold to the notion that a child can be killed up to the time he is
christened, or given a name. This gives from several days to several weeks
(or even longer, in some cultures) to decide if the newly-born organism is
actually human or not. This has no crypto relevance, except to indicate
that many of us hold views considered extreme to others....we're not all
just "Pro Choice" in the liberal sense.)
- better methods of killing people (not just the pseudo-science in the "How
to Kill People" sorts of books that Loompanics and Paladin sell, but a real
- "How to Make Anthrax Bacillus in Your Basement," "Nuclear Triggers," etc.
In the next 10 years, expect a couple of "controversial" documents to
appear on anonymous sites. In the next 10 years after that, expect an
explosion of information. (I could be wrong...I'm trying not to sound
optimistic about it happening too soon.)
>I them saw more tables of the effects of various methods investigated to
>revive hypothermia victims who were near death. One of the treatments
>under investigation was dropping the patient into boiling water. Surely
>this type of research falls under the category of evil.
Does anyone have a URL for these results?
Indeed. And crypto anarchy will make this information liquid and widely
available, perhaps even stimulating the production of even more such data
by various means.
("Evil Hypothetical": The mostly-doomed orphaned street urchins of
Calcutta, Rio de Janeiro, and Mexico City are grabbed off the street,
subjected to various experiments, and the results sold on anonymous
information markets....I could even make a kind of argument that since
they're going to die anyone, why not get some useful data out of them. And
why not subject prisoners facing execution to various experiments? Yes,
both paths have problems. Doesn't mean someone won't meet market needs this
Oh, and did I mention the markets for organ transplants? Anonymous matching
of recipient needs could be done, with the only real world contact being
the arrangement for the patient to fly to a hospital in Burma or Singapore.
The harvesting of organs from the ultra-poor? (The topic of organ-legging
has been well-covered by dystopian SF, including works by Niven.
Information markets add a new and intriguing dimension.)
--Tim May, who will pay $35,000 for accurate mortality studies on at least
20 subjects of Iboviroxinase-D.
Views here are not the views of my Internet Service Provider or Government.
Timothy C. May | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected] 408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
Corralitos, CA | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^756839 | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders are just speed bumps on the information superhighway."