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Re: What is the EFF doing exactly?

At 08:02 PM 9/3/96 -0700, James A. Donald wrote:
>At 10:33 PM 9/3/96 -0800, jim bell wrote:
>>>The Leahy crypto bill introduced early this year made (paraphrasing) "the 
>>>use of encryption to thwart a law-enforcement investigation illegal."  I 
>>>immediately pointed out that while this wouldn't make _encrypted_ remailers 
>>>illegal, per se,  effectively it would because the moment an investigation 
>>>(even a phony or trumped-up one) is started and is "thwarted" by the 
>>>encryption used, the remailer operator became guilty of a crime.  
>At 07:10 AM 9/4/96 -0500, Jon Lebkowsky wrote:
>> Is that true? Or is it that the individual user would be guilty of a crime?
>Since the individual user would already be guilty of a crime, if he is 
>using the remailer to conceal his crimes, the paragraph in question would
>be fairly useless and irrelevant unless it had the meaning that Jim Bell
>attributes to it.
>I believe that judges have a policy of interpreting deliberately 
>ambiguous statutes in whatever way makes the most sense.  The only 
>sensible interpretation of Leahy's bill is that it criminalizes 
>strong remailers, that it is intended to punish ANYONE, not just 
>the criminals themselves, who obstructs investigations.

Moreover, this "spreading the responsibility" philosophy ties in with the 
recent practices (both in the civil and criminal areas) of passing blame 
around.  In civil areas, it's called "deep pockets."  In the criminal area, 
you occasionally see news items about laws making parents criminally liable 
for the actions of their children.

Why WOULDN'T the police want to shut down anonymous remailers?  The Leahy 
bill clearly didn't distinguish between remailer operators and users, so it 
is no leap to conclude that they would be treated similarly.

Jim Bell
[email protected]