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Re: Crypto's Role in Evil?


I agree with Tim that the future is likely to hold much evil -- as it
always has -- and that privacy is unfortunately likely to play an
important role in some of that evil -- as it always has.  But my
analysis of the problem has a subtly different perspective.

We mustn't forget that, until very recently, strong, widespread
privacy has been humanity's "default" condition.  The evils to which
Tim alluded would in my opinion be more accurately described as
arising out of general advances in communication and consequent new
market efficiencies.  Progress always has two faces.

The ob-crypto question here is, must we now rely upon pervasive LEA
surveillance as humanity's only effective defense against the new
evils created by technological progress?  In other words, are we
entering an era in which it is simply becoming TOO DANGEROUS to allow
ourselves the traditional luxury of strong, widespread privacy?

Many people, especially in government, seem to be answering the above
question strongly in the affirmative.  The Cypherpunks, on the other
hand, have rallied around the idea that the unprecedented loss of
privacy is itself an evil against which others pale by comparison.

I admit it is a question which troubles me.  I can only fall back on
the principle that, as I believe Thomas Jefferson put it (quoting
approximately from memory), "There is no ultimate safe repository for
power other than in the people."  Our only hope is in ourselves.

					---  mkj

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