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Re: Race Bit: C

At 02:47 AM 9/4/96 -0700, Timothy C. May wrote:
>At 3:02 AM 9/4/96, 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.
>>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.
>As the recent discussion of knives, switchblades, and throwing stars
>showed, such ambiguous laws are often used to keep the coloreds down.

Perhaps the most ominous part of making "use of encryption to thwart an 
investigation" illegal is _not_ that remailer operators might be prosecuted, 
but that they might NOT be prosecuted in a deal where (in exchange for not 
being prosecuted) they continue to operate the remailer, "cracked" or 
sabotaged so that they share all the info with the cops.  While even that 
won't make chained remailers totally useless, eventually suspicions of such 
a crack will surface, which will help sabotage the credibility of all remailers, 
not just the ones that have been "stung."  

Jim Bell
[email protected]