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

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

On Sun, 3 Dec 1995, Dan Weinstein wrote:

> On Sat, 2 Dec 1995 20:16:08 -0500 (EST), Black Unicorn
> <[email protected]> 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.
> If you read what they had to say about this, you know that they are
> hoping others will create non-escrowed crypto hardware using the same
> interface.  I see no reason for them to not include support for any
> available hardware system (even if it includes GAK), as long as they
> continue to support non-escrowed encryption internally.  This allows
> the customer to decide that they have no problem with GAK and use the
> external system, or use the internal system and not have GAK.

I read it quite carefully.  I just was not as easily taken in by the 
double speak as you were.

Hoping others will do something is about as useful as sitting on your thumb.

Netscape is in a position to make some policy impact here.  If they 
insist on going another way, I want to hear why, not that they are all on 
our side and we should be nice because really we're all in this together, 
and afterall, Netscape isn't such a bad lot.

They can support whoever they like.  I just want to hear WHY.  More 
importantly, I don't want to be snowed with some horse hockey answer.  It 
insults my intelligence.  Yours was obviously unaffected.

> >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.
> Until the current policy is clearly defined it is like a moving
> target.  Once the government has been pinned down to a single policy,
> it will be much easier to dispute their policies.  Currently the
> government can say anything they want about their enforcement of ITAR,
> because they have not stated a clear set of rules with regard to it.
> Once they have set clear rules, those rules can be shown to be overly
> restrictive or even unenforceable.

I believe you actually think you are teaching me something here.

I said before, and I will say again.  If Netscape is against GAK, then 
let them be AGAINST GAK.  If they are just going to try and finesse their 
way into the market without making to many waves, let's hear it that way 
instead of some crap about how they are 'lobbying actively against GAK' 
(Which I might point out, is an assertion that fell apart at the most 
basic prodding).

> Also, lawyers usually advise clients based on a worst case scenario,
> thus when the government is unclear on its rules, the lawyers advise
> their clients based upon the worst possible interpretation of the law.
> This is done to protect their client.  By not stating a policy, the
> government is making that worst case happen, without having to be the
> bad guy by actually attempting to enforce such a policy.

I really think you are pompus enough to think you are teaching people 
things they don't know here.

I invite you to re-read the entire conversation and discover, as an 
exercise, that the issue is not what the government is or is not doing, 
but what netscape is or is not doing.  I could care about Netscape's 
loose-lipped lawyers.

> >
> >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."  and  "By the way, 
> >what is the rule on exporting software again?"
> >
> >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?
> I think you are being too critical, they have done more than any
> company I know of to make easy to use crypto widely available.

0 + .00001 = .00001

Yes, just as last time you checked, .00001 is still more than 0.

> They
> may be willing to obey the laws if they require GAK, but I do not feel
> that they are just rolling over either.  I strongly oppose GAK, but I
> do not believe that no crypto is better than GAK crypto.  I would
> rather keep some people out than nobody out.

Your ignorance is assuming that the options you present are the only 
options available.  JW made the same mistake.  In logical discourse this 
is called "narrowing the field."  It's a version of the 'straw man' 
and a classic flaw in logical argument.
> Dan Weinstein
> [email protected]
> http://www.earthlink.net/~danjw
> PGP public key is available from my Home Page.
> All opinions expressed above are mine.
> "I understand by 'freedom of Spirit' something quite definite -
> the unconditional will to say No, where it is dangerous to say
> No.    

This has got to be the most ironic of signatures I have ever seen.

Why don't you begin to apply the cute quotes you put in your .sig to real 
life and tell Netscape to grow a backbone and say 'No.' to GAK?
>            Friedrich Nietzsche

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
00B9289C28DC0E55  E16D5378B81E1C96 - Finger for Current Key Information