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Re: FBI calls for mandatory key escrow; Denning on export ctrls(fwd)

At 8:08 PM -0700 9/3/97, Brian B. Riley wrote:
>On 9/3/97 8:30 PM, Lucky Green ([email protected])  passed this wisdom:
>>There are a number of ways that that could be
>>implemented, but what we believe we need as a minimum
>>is a feature implemented and designed by the
>>manufacturers of the products and services here that
>>will allow law enforcement to have an immediate lawful
>>decryption of the communications in transit or the
>>stored data.  That could be done in a mandatory
>>manner.  It could be done in an involuntary manner.
>>But the key is that we have the ability.
> ... hmmmm,  immediate *lawful* decryption ... which implies that they
>plan to end run the Bill of Rights with some law that permits them to
>walk in and snoop on the spot ... right now to look at my mail which
>needs no key, just a teakettle, they at least have to stop somewhere and
>find a tame judge, which removes at least some of the immediacy.

I urge extreme caution on pushing this 4th/5th/etc. angle about "due
process" and "search and seizure" and legal niceties. If Freeh's proposal
is passed, I'm sure the _trappings_ of due process and warrants and
whatnot, or at least a magistrate's signature, will be implemented.  Judges
will be found, maybe even special "Surveillance Courts," as with the FISUR
process. Building a case against Freeh's proposal on this basis is weak.

A much stronger basis for stopping the Freeh nonsense is to strongly assert
the First Amendment.  Dictating the form that speech must take--escrow--is

Even the weaker form of Freeh's suggestion, that key escrow capabilities be
forced into all Internet products, even if the use is "voluntary," seems to
lack constitutional support. Could the Federal Trade Commission force all
products to have such features? The Consumer Safety Products Commission?

I don't know where the authority for mandatory seat belts and  air bags is
claimed to come from, either. Or helmet laws in various states. Someone
else is welcome to spend time researching this. Personally, all such laws
are infringements on personal freedom, in my view. I half expect a case
will be made that key escrow is a "safety" feature. Freeh's invocation of
air bags may have been a clever signal.

--Tim May

There's something wrong when I'm a felon under an increasing number of laws.
Only one response to the key grabbers is warranted: "Death to Tyrants!"
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."