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Paranoia Has Its Uses

At 4:10 AM 11/7/95, Carl Ellison wrote:
> ``According to the former head of Romania's secret police, Ion Mihai
>Pacepa, there had been ten million microphones in a country of twenty-three
>million people.  That would mean that nearly everyone had been listened to
>and then blackmailed into listening and reporting on others.  A maze of
>psychic tunnels led from one person to another.'' [Andrei Codrescu, "The
>Hole In The Flag", pp. 21-22]

This was the Romanian version of key escrow, don't you know?

"Conversation Escrow" was scrupulously safeguarded in Ceausescu's Romania,
with conversations only unlocked if a "court order" was obtained lawfully.

(Of course, governments get to make the laws, get to enforce them, and so
it goes.)

Theodore Roszak, influential author of "The Making of the Counterculture"
(1969), was bemoaning the apparent distrust people now have in governments,
and thinking he and his generation are partly to blame for the current
paranoia and mistrust. He was bemoaning the fact that nobody trusts that
government can fix society's problems, that everyone from leftists to
rightists apparently hates the way government works.

Relevance? Next time someone mentions "safeguards" in connection with GAK,
remind them about Tricky Dick and his "Enemies List." Or about possibly
greater abuses by other presidents. Remind them of what might happen if a
Religious Right president is trying to crack down on abortions,
pornography, and drugs.

This may make a doubter out of someone. It may be paranoia, but paranoia
has its uses.

--Tim May

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."