1993-12-17 - Inman: Cognitive Dissonance?

Header Data

From: “Philippe Nave” <pdn@dwroll.dw.att.com>
To: banisar@washofc.cpsr.org
Message Hash: 236a82e65ddcf082cd45a76737fdda6861ccbc251a4ef8632b44f58f360108fe
Message ID: <9312171625.AA05005@toad.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-12-17 16:26:19 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 17 Dec 93 08:26:19 PST

Raw message

From: "Philippe Nave" <pdn@dwroll.dw.att.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 93 08:26:19 PST
To: banisar@washofc.cpsr.org
Subject: Inman: Cognitive Dissonance?
Message-ID: <9312171625.AA05005@toad.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

banisar@washofc.cpsr.org writes :
> More recently, Inman was quoted by John Barlow in "Decrypting the Puzzle 
> Palace" as saying ' "My Answer", he said "would be legislation which would 
> make it a criminal offense to use encrypted communications to conceal 
> criminal activity...you could have a registry of institutios which can 
> legally use cryphers. If you get somebody using one who isn't registered, 
> then you go after him." '

This quote is a classic! The first bit about criminalizing crypto when it is
used to cover up criminal activity is all right, I guess - sort of like 
adding a charge of 'resisting arrest' to the list of charges filed against
a criminal. However, Inman segues from that statement into the 'registry
of institutions that can legally use cyphers'... hmmm.. as if the illegal
uses of cryptography were so tempting that 'institutions' have to jump through
hoops to demontrate their innocence [as opposed to the assumption that they
will behave themselves of their own accord]. Then, the last sentence ices 
the cake: "If you get somebody using one who isn't registered, then you go 
after him." Warm up the tanks and load the tear gas, BATF! 'Presumption of
innocence' be damned! Cryptography is a _munition_, right? Right? Hmm......

It never ceases to amaze me how Big Brother can leap from nice, harmless-
sounding 'law and order' rhetoric to police-state strong-arm statements in
the space of a single 'sound bite'.

Philippe D. Nave, Jr.   | The person who does not use message encryption
pdn@dwroll.dw.att.com   | will soon be at the mercy of those who DO...
Denver, Colorado USA    | PGP public key: by arrangement.