[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Netscape gives in to key escrow

On Fri, 1 Dec 1995, Jonathan Zamick wrote:

> >I they tell you about it and you buy it anyway -- tough luck.
> >
> >
> >Same with the cars.  Would *you* buy Pinto with explosives in it????
> >(leaving aside the "inherently dangerous" argument for the moment on the
> >products liability claim).
> >
> >EBD
> Hmm. The key point is that almost no general users will have a clue what
> actual security is, and what GAK is. They _might_ understand the risks of
> having an explosive in their vehicle (but can just as easily argue it wasn't

> properly designed if it went off improperly.) Regardless of what they'd know
> about their vehicle, they can easily claim to had the risks associated with
> GAK improperly represented, Netscape misleading them with deceptive claims
> of security given this potential hole etc.

And thus we return to my original point, which is that it will depend on 
what is said/disclosed.  If every copy of GAKscape had a banner, bigger 
than the Netscape "N" which said, "The government can read every message 
you send using this software no matter what you do" then I think 
consumers will be hard pressed to say they weren't warned.

> I'm not saying whether or not this is the case, but we are very much in a
> legal period where individuals are in fact expected not to need common sense,
> and corporations are responsible for cleaning up after consumer stupidity.
> It is certainly true that given the general state of education regarding
> crypto, the average consumer can easily say that regardless of warnings about
> GAK, that they weren't properly informed of the risk. With all the hype
> around security, Netscape and encryption people will be under the
> impression regardless
> of one little disclaimer tag, that their information is safe. Neither
> government nor corporations will disabuse them of this belief. The case
> would be strong against them as a consumer.

I disagree.  Almost nobody read the fine print on the back of a note you 
sign when you buy a car or otherwise take out a loan, but the provisions 
are generally enforceable ...  Ignorance is not necessarily an excuse.

> Jonathan
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ..Jonathan Zamick                    Consensus Development Corporation..


Not a lawyer on the Net, although I play one in real life.
Flame away! I get treated worse in person every day!!