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Re: DVD legal maneuvers (fwd)



> > Why does trust, respect, and mutual agreement eliminate anonymity?
> 
> Those things do not eliminate anonymity and privacy tools; in Anonymous's ideal
> society, s/he says, "anti reverse engineering provisions are
> entirely...enforceable," and the enforceability of the provisions is the
> characteristic with which our anonymity and privacy tools cannot coexist. Lose
> the enforceability of anti-reverse-engineering provisions; keep or scrap the
> basis in trust, respect, and mutual agreement; and Mix-style anonymity and
> cryptographically-ensured privacy may exist. (For some justification, read the
> original post and the text below.)
> 
> [ That's nice. I'm asking you, not anonymous, why trust, respect, and mutual
>   agreement eliminate anonymity.

Trust, respect, and mutual agreement do not eliminate anonymity. I brought
Anonymous's words in to explain why my argument against Anonymous is consistent
with that fact.

...
> I don't care about anonymous's utopian dream.

I don't care either, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be taking good notes.
Descriptions of the unattainable are, as usual, important because the reader
uses them to infer things about reality. Ideals expressed in utopian worlds
generally suggest that the reader should work towards the ideal. If I can show
that working towards the ideal would involve getting into a state with some
particularly bad characteristic (i.e., we don't have Mixish remailers and
privacy tools), that strongly suggests that the ideal needs some debugging.

...
>                                                              ]
> 
> > The reality is that in such a society you wouldn't need to reverse engineer
> > in the first place. So your point is incorrect as worded
> 
> Under your interpretation and logic, yes -- but your interpretation is not the
> only one, not one which uncovers the intent behind the words, and arguably not
> the one which yields the most practically useful results.
> 
> [ My interpretation? 

Yes.

>                      This is your 'what if'. Let's examine the conclusions
>   of the precepts you've offered (i.e. trust, respect, mutual agreement).

Anonymous offered those precepts, and, as I said last message and earlier in
this one (hope I'm not getting repetitious... :), my argument was intended for
application to the real-world situations that could result from working towards
Anonymous's dream. Applying them to the dream itself does not yield especially
useful results. If you want to apply it to the utopia anyway (need to pass the
time or something...) the argument can be applied to a world with a trust,
respect, and mutual agreement, though you're then playing with a moot point.


>   In such a society the person selling it would trust your use and your
>   word. Because of respect and mutual agreement the two parties would
>   follow the intent of their agreement. In such a word where a literal
>   handshake is as good as any other form of contract law exactly why would
>   anyone reverse engineer anything? They'd just go to the author and ask
>   for it and they'd get it.

Enforceability is independent of the necessity of enforcement. For comparison:
if I make an agreement with some people that prohibits all of them from having
a particular thought, it's not enforceable even if they are nice enough to
follow it anyway, or even if they're so nice that making an agreement would be
silly.

>   ... ]
> 
> Part of my argument was that anti-reverse-engineering provisions would not be
> enforceable in a society if that society had anonymity and privacy protected by
> cryptography and related fields[2]. (This is logically equivalent to the
> statement "a society would not have anonymity and privacy protected by
> cryptography and related fields if anti-reverse-engineering provisions were
> enforceable in that society," which is more like the way I've stated my claim
> other times.)
> 
> [ Why wouldn't there be enforcability? Anonymity does not deny culpability,
>   as many of the projects on this list have demonstrated over the years.

I'm not sure what you mean here; "culpability" has me befuddled. I checked with
Merriam-Webster and WordNet, and they point towards "culpability" meaning
"blameworthiness" as a less-fiery version of "guilt." Of course the blameworthy
are still blameworthy when anonymous, but that doesn't affect the
enforceability of the agreements whose violations make them blameworthy. Do you
mean a different word or is my interpretation off some other way?

In any case, the remailers that would have to go are the Mixish ones; the
reverse engineer could use that kind of to untraceably do what MoRE did.

...
>   With respect to your second argument, you have yet to demonstrate a
>   link between the use of crypto and anonymity being driven in a significant
>   way by the fear of reverse engineering.

It is the contrapositive of the first statement, not another argument -- the
first statement implies the second. I haven't shown that anything relating to
reverse engineering causing anything about crypto/anonymity in the present
world, but I don't need to do that to show that if there are enforceable
anti-reverse-engineering provisions, there aren't remailers. (If people did
push sufficiently hard for the enforceability of anti-reverse-engineering
provisions, they would presumably find out that their goal would be
achievable only with the elimination of at least one of {Mixish strong
anonymity, privacy assured with crypto/soft TEMPEST protection/etc.}; if they
achieve their goal, it would be by carrying out the elimination.)

>                                           It is my experience that crypto
>   and anonymity are driven in the vast majority of cases to shield the
>   identity from retribution of one form or another. I have a hard time
>   understanding how one can equate reverse engineering a word processor
>   and having their house blown up because they are pro-choice.

This applies to a different argument than the one I'm making; again, I don't
think fear of reverse engineering motivates crypto/anonymity research.

> 
> [2] Some logical paperwork: if everyone in the society is trustworthy -- i.e.,
> in a Utopian sort of world -- the provisions are as unenforceable as ever in
> the presence of strong privacy/anonymity, even if the trustworthiness means
> that no failed attempt to enforce them need be made.
> 
> [ If no attempt to break the agreement occurs why would you need an
>   enforcer?

It is indeed a moot point, there for completeness only; that's why it falls in
a paragraph of "logical paperwork."

>             In such a world why would you necessarily even have that concept
>   in the society?

You might not, but the enforceability is not affected. Similarly: in a world
full of innocents with no concept of killing, they would also lack a concept of
"killability." However, we, in our world that has a concept of
"killability," can still say whether someone in that world is killable or not.

>                   ]
> 
> ----- End of forwarded message from Randall Farmer -----
> 
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