[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Congress & Crypto: "No compromise" coalition letter

At 11:24 AM -0700 9/24/97, Declan McCullagh wrote:
>[An example of how hard the FBI is pressing encryption in the last few
>hours before today's vote. This news conference was at 10:30 am today.

>Freeh used the news conference to push legislation,
>now before a House committee, giving his agents access
>to the keys to commercial encryption devices and
>software used to scramble telephone conversations and
>computer transmissions. "If a workable national
>solution to the encryption problem is not enacted
>soon," Freeh said, "we simply will loose our most
>effective tool with respect to drug interdiction."

Yes, we will "loose" some powerful tools. (Spelling flames aside, this use
of "loose" when "lose" is meant is becoming incredibly common on the Net. I
don't know who made this "loose" error, or if was just an honest typo.)

More importantly, just how does Freeh think the SAFE bill, with amendments
seen so far, will affect the tens of thousands of already bought or
downloaded encryption pacakages, or the dozens or perhaps hundreds or more
"secure telephones" already sold by ComSec and others? Unless these are
banned in _use_, and even lending them becomes a felony, and other even
more draconian laws are passed, there will be a never-exhausted supply of
strong crypto for many years to come.

Hey, maybe I could sell my 3DES secure phone for quite a tidy profit? (Yes,
such a sale would technically be illegal under SAFE (Security and Fascism
through Escrow), so the idea, if I want to not violate the law, will be to
let them "use" my machine. Nothing against this in the amendments I've

But we all know that the next iteration will ban use.

"Use a random number, go to jail." (I think this was from E. Hughes.)

--Tim May

The Feds have shown their hand: they want a ban on domestic cryptography
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
ComSec 3DES:   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."