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Are we men or mice? Re: House panel votes behind closed doors to build in Big Brother (fwd)





---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 14:27:06 -0400
From: "Shabbir J. Safdar" <[email protected]>
To: [email protected],
    [email protected]
Subject: Are we men or mice?  Re: House panel votes behind closed doors to build in Big Brother

At 11:37 PM -0700 9/11/97, Declan McCullagh wrote:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Thu, 11 Sep 1997 23:37:39 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Declan McCullagh <[email protected]>
> To: [email protected]
..
> That's why the encryption outlook in Congress is abysmal. Crypto-advocates
> have lost, and lost miserably. A month ago, the debate was about export
> controls. Now the battle is over how strict the //domestic// controls will
> be. It's sad, really, that so many millions of lobbyist-dollars were not
> only wasted, but used to advance legislation that has been morphed into a
> truly awful proposal.

This suggests the battle is over and lost.  It's not, and a tone of this
sort only plays into the FBI's hands.  Feeling like they're on a roll, if
the community throws in the towel now, as your tone above suggests, we cede
defeat and get domestic restrictions.

We have a goddamn right to use encryption without a government backdoor,
and I, and nobody else, should give up until it's dragged from our
rigor-mortis-addled hands.  In Congress, there are still votes left, and we
should be fighting to make sure that no member of Congress that has a vote
at any point in this process should cast that vote without knowing that
their net constituents care about this.  They may not always vote with
their constituents' wishes (and that is frustrating to all of us) but we
certain-as-hell shouldn't let them make that call without having at least
constituent input.

You want to see effectiveness and change, do something constructive instead
of whining on the net.  For example, let people know that by signing up for
the Adopt Your Legislator program at http://www.crypto..com/member/ they
will be notified before and after every vote that their legislator is a
party to, complete with phone and fax nnmbers.

It may look gloomy now, but bad votes should only make us madder and more
determined to lobby Congress.  It's easy to complain about the fact that
you don't like the direction the boat is going; much harder to devote your
energies to actually changing the course.  Pick up an oar and row.

If you get domestic restrictions on encryption and you haven't been calling
your member of Congress on a regular basis to tell them to do the right
thing, you'll get exactly the kind of government you've invested in.

-S

PS I would like this to go to fight-censorship-announce as well, please.