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Re: sooner or later



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Bill Stewart wrote:
>At 10:45 PM 9/18/97 -0700, Wei Dai wrote:
>>Many of us believe that a crypto ban is inevitable. The only
>>question for us is whether it'll happen sooner or later. Seen in
>>this perspective, all that industry and civil liberties lobbies can
>>do is delay the ban. But is this necessarily a good thing?

>Yes.  Later is bad, but sooner is worse.  First of all, "Soon" means
>"We lost already", while "Later" means "We haven't lost yet, even
>though it looks pretty much like we're going to lose later,...

Even if we lose a battle legislatively tomorrow, this does not mean we
have "lost".  In practice, people can still write code and distribute
it, the same way people are still making LSD, growing mushrooms, or
growing marijuana.  Code propagates easily which means that so long as
there is any place in the world where it can be safely used, it will
be.

Even if it is illegal throughout the world, there are going to be
places where the local administrators are too corrupt or incompetent
to really enforce the law.  (The law is more or less impossible to
enforce anyway because you have to charge people with possession of
random data.)

This means that somebody will be using the stuff, and the New
Renaissance will still happen, but the benefits will have to propagate
back into the United States for a change.

The greatest risk is of a major government going "ape" over this issue
and randomly persecuting those they suspect of doing illegal
arithmetic without real evidence or real trials.  The passing of a law
may mitigate this because they will feel as if they are doing
something, even if the "problem" was not entirely solved.

Monty Cantsin
Editor in Chief
Smile Magazine
http://www.neoism.org/squares/smile_index.html
http://www.neoism.org/squares/cantsin_10.html

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