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Re: What was the quid pro quo for Wassenaar countries?

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At 10:17 PM -0800 12/4/98, Lucky Green wrote:

>Ultimately, It won't make a difference, but sure, why not. Crypto regs can
>go one way, and one way only: more restrictive. See some 5 years of my
>postings on this topic. Lobbying and litigation can only delay the arrival
>of a total ban on general purpose strong crypto, not prevent it. Note that
>I am not at all claiming that either lobbying or litigation is useless. By
>all means, keep it up. It just won't change the fact that the ratchet
>turns only into one direction. Until the ratchet breaks, but that is
>another matter entirely and tends to be acompanied by lots of dead bodies.

Indeed. What more is there to say on this point? One way only. Even the "do
gooders" actually make things worse, by "greasing the skids" for
legislative talk and legislative "compromise"...said compromise always
being another turn of ratchet.

(This applies to many industries. I recently heard T.J. Rodgers, CEO of
Cypress Semiconductor, repeat his oft-made point that Silicon Valley and
the high tech industry gains _nothing_ by talking to Washington. That as
soon as dialog is started with Washington, things get worse. This applies
as well to crypto, to gun rights, to everything. Everything Washington
touches turns to statist shit.)

On another topic, what of the "free export of crypto" nations? Some
nations, or folks in some nations, like to talk about how they are actually
"more free" than Americans are because they can export strong crypto.
Canada comes to mind, as there are a couple of companies we know about
using the ostensibly weaker Canadian export controls.

(I maintain, and Lucky can be my witness that I expressed this forcefully
to some Canadian entrepreneurs very recently, that Canada's relative
laxness on crypto arises first, from their ignorance of the issues and
second, from the fact that Washington hasn't yet told them how high to
jump. I have long believed the U.S. would issue the orders and other
countries would turn out to be just as restrictive, if not more
restrictive, as they have fewer in-country protections against restrictions
on strong crypto. If Canada, Finland, etc. tighten up, can Anguilla be far

>I doubt we will find out anytime soon. Favors? Blackmail? Most likely
>all of the above.

Or perhaps "strange fruit"? That is, hackers found hanging from a tree....

Or direct deposits to the Swiss bank accounts of Wassenaar delegates?

Or just intense lobbying, threats of foreign aid cutoffs, and repeated
showings of the "If you only knew what we know" videotape (specially
converted to PAL).

Nothing very surprising.

--Tim May

"I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, just the way the President did."
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
ComSec 3DES:   831-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Licensed Ontologist         | black markets, collapse of governments.