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Re: toolkits?

Timothy C. May wrote:
> At 12:41 AM 11/7/95, Stephen Whitaker wrote:
> >just might have a prayer of doing it right, whatever that is. What would it
> >look like if secure communications and anonomynity were designed in from the
> >start? Is this what Sameer is doing in Bezerkeley?
> >
> >What machines are considered minimum requirements to use these tools? What
> >are the essential reference works?
> "Security and anonymity" are not matters for government to ensure.
> I urge you, Stephen, to read up on encryption and the benefits contained
> therein. Looking to your state capital to secure your communications is a
> lose.
Tim - I think your libertarian side is showing here....
Not that this is a bad thing, but I think there are some things 
that state governments can and/or should do.

First off - avoid trying to legislate minute details of any encryption
or signature scheme.  Bureaucrats trying to understand, much less control
technical things is doomed to fail.  (take GOSIP as a prime example)

Second - push for legal acceptance of digital signatures and
acceptance of privacy through encryption.  I believe Utah has taken a strong 
step in this direction.  Most people, businesses, and courts won't accept
digital contracts and the like until there is more of a sound
set of laws behind them.  Strong laws against government snooping or
against anti-encryption or anti-anonymous laws are a good thing IMO.
Besides - laws like that will let the bureaucrats drown themselves
in their own paperwork making sure then follow their own rules - and keep 
them out of our hair. ;-)

Third - provide services to the citizenry.  For example - provide
a public key server.  Or how about a digital time-stamping service.
If the crap was kept out of these services, and they were free for
anyone to use, then it would advance the idea of encouraging people to
use crypto in their daily lives.

Warning - Although I think there are some good things that governments
can do, it is also very important to watch out for "sabotage" by 
the government.  Governments tend to like control too much and by
trying to maintain control, reverse a useful service to one that
is a dis-service to the people.  In general, if governments get
out of the way, people will take care of problems themselves.

Dan Oelke                                  Alcatel Network Systems
[email protected]                             Richardson, TX