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NYT cybertimes article excerpt.
quoted without permission - I think this is
btw, the NY Times site is pretty good. While a
registration and email address are needed, I have
not seen any sign of abuse of this information (yet).
In fact, Kerrey's legislation could easily create the largest
bureaucracy ever -- by
some estimates requiring more record keeping than all the
states' departments of motor vehicles, the Internal Revenue
Service and the various welfare agencies combined. While no
one knows how Congress or the FBI intends to carry out
key-recovery legislation, it is entirely possible that
anyone installing a piece of software on a hard drive will
need to register it like people now register a car with the
Department of Motor Vehicles.
While most people own only one car and file only one tax
return a year, many computer users have multiple copies of
programs like Quicken, Notes or Power Point. Each could
require a separate registration if it includes encryption
features -- and many users will be shocked to discover what
qualifies as encryption, which is becoming increasingly
common even in trivial programs like games because it is a
good way to regulate copyright infringement.
One Congressional staff member who participated in drafting the
legislation but asked not to be identified
conceded that the bill would force developers of new
software to seek approval for their products from the United
States government even if the products did not explicitly
include encryption features. Such approval would be the only
-> way to escape prosecution, he said. While admitting that
-> this language would add a six- to nine-month delay in
-> releasing new products, the staff member asserted that the
-> computer industry would simply have to build this time into
-> product development cycles.
This "Congressional staff member" is clearly a ninth-dan black belt
ninja of cluelessness. Add 6-9 months to SW development cycles?
Prior restraint on SW publication? The mind boggles.
Anyone who maintains that the convenience of law enforcement should
be the over-riding factor in the organization of our society has,
in my opinion, lost the right to call themselves an "American."
DISCLAIMER: My opinons. No one elses.