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

Re: Germany not so worried about Gestapo wiretaps now

Tim May wrote:

>(Things have been quiet on the crypto legislation/international agreements
>front, from a news point of view, but we can safely assume that all of
>these bad things are moving along behind the scenes, and will once again
>become cause celebres.)

A clue to what's coming: BXA is due to issue its regulations for
implementing the Wassenaar Arrangement about January 26, so wrote
Jim Lewis at the agency. (Most here know that Wassenaar is
an international agreement among thirty-plus nations to control
export of technology, including encryption.)

Other nations who have signed Wassenaar will probably follow suit, 
preceded already by Australia and maybe others. Scuttlebutt is that
they're awaiting the US giant's move (or dealing for better incentives).

Further, there's surely preparatory work going on for crypto legislation
in the upcoming session, and we may see a push early in the term
in concert with Wassenaar and perhaps other Net regulations stimulated
by fear of infrastructure terrorism.

What's worth pondering is what new arguments will be made for
controlling/decontrolling crypto, new ways to divide the baby 
so every interest group can have a chunk, new serendipitous 
incidents, accidents and incentives.

Recall Bill Renisch's comment that nothing has ever boosted
interest in BXA-who like encryption, as several legislators and
other who's-thats in and out of gov have discovered. Any
topic that generates public attention is not to be ignored for long.

Along parallel lines, The New Yorker mag of January 12 has two
stories of note:

A short one on how blame the militants for the OKC bombing
so powerfully argued before the trials of McVeigh and Nichols
was not pursured during the trials. It suggests an apology to
militants is in order for groundless accusations.

Another much longer on the economic theory behind Justice's 
attack on Microsoft and how it challenges free market theory,
especially for high technology. That government intervention
may be needed for the pervasive dependency of society on 
such technology because it has such vast potential for harm. 
A curious parallel to the argument for Wassenaar.