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Re: Building crypto archives worldwide to foil US-built Berlin Walls

At 11:53 AM 12/8/98 +0200, Tim Griffiths wrote:
>x wrote:
>> This brings to mind again a method of distribution that I've thought for
>> some time and has probably been discussed on this list before...
>> For (a trivial) example take the image of PGP zipped up for download.
>> Three different sites create a unique portion of that image for
>> themselves, for example, each site takes every third byte, and throw
>> in some additional obfuscation...It then is trivial to reconstruct
>> the desired image from the independent sources, while none of the
>> sources themselves can be subject to controls without having to go
>> down the rat hole of having to define what really constitutes the
>> restricted material...
>1. What is the point of the obfuscation? If it's not legal to do it
>openly, then it's certainly not legal to hide the fact your doing it.
>"The accused did it in such a way as to demonstrate that he was aware
>of it's illegality".

the point is not to hide anything; the point is to expand, arbitrarily (and
this was a trivial example), the f() that takes bits from a controllable
image to one that is not.

>2. By your example, you could also take a cruise missile apart, and
>ship each part separately. After all, none of it is actually a missile.

in a cruise missle, there will be certain parts -- e.g. the warhead
explosives? -- that are still identifiable as controlled.  taking apart the
missle by n people where n is the number of 'parts' will result in some
subset of participants possessing components that implicate them in an
illegal act.  this is simply not true of bits.  What is the bit sequence
that defines "munition"-ness?  My point is that there is no hard point at
which that can be defined, when you start talking about mappings from a
controlled image to some other images which cannot be controlled. 

>However I 'export' PGP from the US, I'm exporting it, even if I have a
>web site for each bit, 0 or 1 being determined by whether Clinton has
>a cigar or not in a posted picture.

You're just asserting the assumptions I am trying to examine, and this is
not helpful.  You're also assuming a single participant, with
accountability.  I am assuming multiple participants, and that they're
acting independently; let's expand this to say that one individual provides
the 'algorithm' for the mapping, and any other participants are free to
obtain their image out of band legally, and implement this algorithm on
some portion of the image, publishing the result.  Whom do you arrest?
Where is the culpability?

If the algorithm defines that there be 256K subimages of the original, one
for each byte, say...can I be arrested for choosing to post f(byte
123,456)?  Or do I get arrested for publishing f(byte 123,456) PLUS the
information that identifies this byte as corresponding to byte 123,456 in
the reconstruction of the original?  I honestly don't know where this goes,
but to just make a blanket statement like you did doesn't really add anything.

>Yes, the law is inconsistent (let alone stupid). Not, I wouldn't want
>to try this and expect to be immune from prosecution.

>Tim G
>Tim Griffiths                   [email protected]
>Center for Submicron Research   http://tim01.ex.ac.uk
>Weizmann Institute of Science   (972)-8-934-2736
>Rehovot 76100 Israel
> 'I have sat and listened to the arguments of men,
>  and I tell you they are shallow movements in space
>  tied to reality only by the ego of their minds.' -DF