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Re: GAK Flap Happening at a Good Time--Journalists Read!

On Sun, 3 Dec 1995, Jeff Weinstein wrote:

> Black Unicorn wrote:
> > 
> > On Sat, 2 Dec 1995, Jeff Weinstein wrote:
> > 
> > > Black Unicorn wrote:

> > > > To the outsider, it looks as if Netscape 'owes' the government.
> > >
> > >   We do owe the government.  They have paid us for Servers and Clients
> > > that support Fortezza.  That is what we owe them.  The money that the
> > > NSA gave us for Fortezza is not very significant compared to what we
> > > are getting from commercial sources.
> > 
> > Obviously it was significant enough to take.  It was also a perfect
> > opportunity for Netscape to express concerns about the future of the
> > technology, which is in netscape's interest.  The astute deal maker would
> > be happy to work with the NSA on his own terms.  Instead, it
> > would appear that Netscape is working FOR NSA on their terms.
>   I wasn't aware that you were privy to the details of the contract.

Tell me it included discussion about the future of the technology, and 
that at some time during the negotiations the prospect of GAK and 
netscape's concern over the direction of it was discussed.  In the 
alternative, shut up.

It doesn't take a legal genius to figure out what went on in these 
negotiations.  I've been there.  I know what the agendas are, and it's 
clear GAK was not one of them.  Either show me otherwise or sit down.

(And by the way, to brag and make you eat crow, I have seen portions of the 
agreement, and your legal staff is as full of leaks as the titanic.  You
would be wise to pull that card only when you are sure it's not been exposed.
Your agreement is another reason I pulled my stock.  My biggest regret is 
that I don't trust my anonyminity enough to publish the portions I have).

> > I'd be interested to know what a 'government liason person' is.  It
> > sounds to me like an 'in house lobbist.'  There is an old joke in the
> > beltway about in house lobbists.
> > 
> > I also would like to know why you are actively lobbying for
> > 'claification' rather than 'modification' of the current policy.
>   We are asking for both.  We want to know what we have to do to make
> our US version available for FTP download to everyone who is legally
> allowed to use it, without violating the current law.  We also want
> the export restrictions removed so that we can ship the same stuff
> to other countries.  The former is a short term goal while the
> latter will likely turn into a longer term effort.

At no time in here do I hear that you will be actively taking an 
'anti-GAK' position.  That is, that GAK is counterproductive, against the 
interests of the industry and that Netscape is going to take a stand on 
GAK because it is wrong for the industry as a whole.

I don't care what your position is on GAK, I've already sold my stock in 
your spineless company.  What I care about is exactly what kind of 
snowjob you are perpetrating after the fact while claiming to be one of us.

> > Netscape seems to be taking the position, "We'd love it if you'd let us
> > do X, but we are happy to roll over for whatever."
>   So you consider not breaking the law to be "rolling over"?

You seem to think the only options are:

1. Roll over.
2. Break the law.

This is where you fail.

The other option is active work to discourage a GAK system on the whole 
as a farce, and unenforceable, thus a waste and a burden to the industry 
(which in my view, it is).

Unfortunately, Netscape is too interested, clearly, in not rocking the 
boat while the gold is on board.  Again, this is fine, so long as you 
don't come to us claiming to be the peacemaker.  That's crap.

> You have the luxury of hiding behind anonymity.  We don't.

No apologies necessary.

> >  and  "By the way,
> > what is the rule on exporting software again?"
>   Doesn't everyone want to know this?  Do you think that the ITAR is clear
> about the meaning of "export" in the case of FTP and the internet?

No.  I don't care what is.  As long as it is not "we know strong crypto 
is inevitable, and thus we cannot hope to enforce a lesser standard," 
then it is clearly unacceptable -  (See Bill Gates, who despite my 
provincial mac preference, has earned my investment dollar ten times over on
ethics issue v. netscape.  I hope you realize exactly what that means).

> > I am impressed that some effort is being made.  I think it in the form of
> > 'too little, too late.'  But hey, who am I?
>   Four months ago we did not have lots of money in the bank.  People seem
> to forget that this still a young and small company.  Perhaps the current
> valuation is blinding obscuring this.  Now that we have more resources at our
> disposal hopefully we can help make a difference.

All the smallest violins in the world are, I am sure, playing for you.

You'd make a difference if you would evolve to the point where you have a 
backbone.  Given your position in the short lived 'hype' of the high tech 
market, I would think you would make as much of your time in the 
spotlight as you could.  Especially if the market ever wises up to the 
snowjob you are doing.  (I speak of the company, if not the individual, 
not that I doubt either of the capacity individually).

> 	--Jeff
> -- 
> Jeff Weinstein - Electronic Munitions Specialist
> Netscape Communication Corporation
> [email protected] - http://home.netscape.com/people/jsw
> Any opinions expressed above are mine.
My prefered and soon to be permanent e-mail address: [email protected]
"In fact, had Bancroft not existed,       potestas scientiae in usu est
Franklin might have had to invent him."    in nihilum nil posse reverti
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