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CDT complains to my editors after post to cypherpunks

[CDT's Jonah Seiger copied this message to my editors. I'm still waiting
for him to answer my questions. --Declan]


            Re: The Commerce committee votes are up at crypto.com
            Fri, 26 Sep 1997 10:29:17 -0400
            Jonah Seiger <[email protected]>
            Declan McCullagh <[email protected]>

Declan --

If you are curious about what it is about your style that bothers CDT so
much, start with this hostile, accusitory message posted to a public list
(in this case, cypherpunks).

This message is not a question -- it's an attack.  It assumes the answer
before it's asked, and it's nothing more than read meat thrown to a hungry

If you have questions about how we set up the site, or how we feel about
the results of Wednesday's Commerce Committee vote, all you have to do is
contact us.  We will be happy to talk to you.  This is the way every other
journalist we work with operates.

Unfortunately, your pattern is different. I would have thought that after
last week's unfortunate incident you would have learned something.  Perhaps
I was assuming too much.


At 11:19 PM -0400 9/25/97, Declan McCullagh wrote:
>Thanks, Shabbir, for putting this vital information online. But I'm a
>little puzzled. I fear the CDT/VTW crypto.com web site may be misleading.
>You say, for instance, that opposing SAFE yesterday was a vote "against
>Internet privacy" and "against passing the SAFE bill out of committee."
>That's not true. The Markey-White-amended bill the committee approved
>yesterday was not the SAFE bill. It was a deviant version with important
>differences from SAFE.
>The Markey-White amendment includes: the doubled crypto-in-a-crime
>penalties (10-20 years!), the sop to eventual mandatory key recovery by
>including liability immunity for turning over keys to the Feds or the
>sheriff of Podunk County, the bogus NETcenter that effectively gives the
>NSA a statutory basis for domestic evildoing, etc. (Markey wanted to take
>credit for killing the original SAFE. He told the Washington Post "after
>the vote" that the original, better, Goodlatte SAFE "no longer exists as a
>political option." That's right -- thanks to his own amendment...)
>The second and third votes are essentially the same: should the above
>provisions be in the Commerce committee of the bill. But why do you avoid
>taking a position on whether the second vote on Markey-White was good or
>If the second description was to avoid taking a position on Markey-White,
>it doesn't work. You say in your third description that a vote for the
>amended Markey-White bill was a good one. Why would CDT/VTW endorse such
>disturbing legislation? (And not admit it?) To what extent was CDT/VTW
>involved in drafting Markey-White and to what extent did you encourage
>committee members to vote for it?
>Also, the description for the third vote is misleading by itself. It just
>says "report SAFE" when it should say "report SAFE with Markey-White
>provisions" out of committee.
>And, given these problems with Markey-White, why is the CDT/VTW crypto.com
>site counting a vote for the Markey-White-amended bill as a vote for
>"Internet privacy?" I should think that given the problems -- such as
>doubling of crypto-in-a-crime and sop towards mandatory key recovery --
>that a vote against the Markey-White-amended bill is a //good// vote, not
>one against Net-privacy.
>If a legislator wanted to vote for Internet freedom and reject deviant
>bills, he should have voted against Oxley, Markey-White, and against
>passing the bill with Markey-White out of committee yesterday. (That would
>have left the cleaner Judiciary committee version of SAFE as a more likely
>option.) Rep. Brown, for instance, did just that -- yet you tar him as
>against Internet freedoms.
>Go figure.
>crypto.com says:
>>Voted in favor of Internet privacy at the full
>>Commerce committee vote on Sep 24 1997. This vote was
>>against attaching the Oxley-Manton 'Big Brother'
>>amendment to SAFE.
>>Voted against the Markey-White amendment at the full
>>Commerce committee vote on Sep 24 1997. The vote was
>>against attaching the Markey-White amendment to SAFE.
>>Voted against Internet privacy at the full Commerce
>>committee vote on Sep 24 1997. The vote was against
>>passing the SAFE bill out of committee.
>At 17:56 -0400 9/25/97, Shabbir J. Safdar wrote:
>>Last night's votes on SAFE in the Commerce committee are in place at
>>Simply select the member of Congress you're curious about, either by zip code
>>or by state, and you can see how they voted in the three Commerce votes
>>last night.  Then, you can call and yell or send kudos.

* Value Your Privacy? The Government Doesn't.  Say 'No' to Key Escrow! *
            Adopt Your Legislator -  http://www.crypto.com/adopt

Jonah Seiger, Communications Director              (v) +1.202.637.9800
Center for Democracy and Technology              pager +1.202.859.2151
<[email protected]>
                                                    PGP Key via finger