1993-02-23 - Re: Rambo Lives

Header Data

From: mccoy@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Jim McCoy)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 6696a45ad2e5feb79bb7f2dd2a6d79c0295be2e027173d41d64f1bfbb598e857
Message ID: <9302230032.AA15285@tramp.cc.utexas.edu>
Reply To: <9302221330.tn00927@aol.com>
UTC Datetime: 1993-02-23 00:33:42 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 22 Feb 93 16:33:42 PST

Raw message

From: mccoy@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Jim McCoy)
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 93 16:33:42 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Rambo Lives
In-Reply-To: <9302221330.tn00927@aol.com>
Message-ID: <9302230032.AA15285@tramp.cc.utexas.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text

> >>kelly@netcom.com
> >>Law enforcement seems to have very similiar mentality as well,
> >>with CONTROL being the agenda and reason for existance-- 

Not meaning to be an appologist for law enforcement agencies (some of whom
have gone off the deep end, this much is true...) but the purpose of law
enforcement agencies is to enforce the laws and protect the populace.  If
you disagree with what they are doing, change the laws.  Most of them are
people doing a thankless job that I would never want to have...

> >>Suppose we think of guerilla products such as PGP and anoynmous
> >>posting mechanisms and forwarders  in their larger social sense
> >>As behaviour modification for those who would have our privacy
> >>as well as our lives
> ...and thus the government's decision to consider PGP (a privacy mechanism)
> as "munitions." At first I thought it was outrageous, but it all makes
> curious sense somehow when you bop yourself on the head the right way,
> doesn't it?

While we now look at this classification as "munitions" as somewhat silly,
please remember when ITAR was established: 1943.  At the time the US was at
war, cryptographic devices were _real machines_, computers occupied entire
buildings.  The government did not decide to classify PGP as munitions, it
classified _all_ cryptographic machines and processes as munitions (materials
necessary for war) and at the time it was a very easy equivalence to make.
There is a very good article about this by Peter Denning (and other
crypto-related articles) in the July 1992 issue of Communications of the
ACM. Now advanced cryptographic methods are used in private communications
and business but the old definitions remain...

> I say we should ensure that as many citizens as possible get ahold of PGP as
> soon as possible.

Definitely.  Spread the source.