1993-03-02 - anarchism (was: Re: Dining Crypto – An Introduction)

Header Data

From: Marc Horowitz <marc@MIT.EDU>
To: Tiia Roth-Biester <72147.3504@CompuServe.COM>
Message Hash: aa78aa48d7b5853e31b65fcd88bfc0072c2140b2de1738881a1574c0dca6b991
Message ID: <9303022055.AA24072@tla.MIT.EDU>
Reply To: <930302142453_72147.3504_EHC51-1@CompuServe.COM>
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-02 20:57:14 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 2 Mar 93 12:57:14 PST

Raw message

From: Marc Horowitz <marc@MIT.EDU>
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 93 12:57:14 PST
To: Tiia Roth-Biester <72147.3504@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: anarchism (was: Re: Dining Crypto -- An Introduction)
In-Reply-To: <930302142453_72147.3504_EHC51-1@CompuServe.COM>
Message-ID: <9303022055.AA24072@tla.MIT.EDU>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

>> If the coercive sector has to increase the taxes again and again on an
>> ever smaller portion of gross world product, it will starve to death.

Do all you anarchists out there really think that society can hold
itself together, in any form, without government?  I believe that
government today has its hands in way to many places.  I believe in
downsizing government, but not in eliminating it.

I believe in the free market, but I also believe that the free market
can be abused, and that controls need to be in place to prevent that.
(Those of you who don't believe me, look at the railroad industry in
the end of the 19th century.)

I believe in protecting our freedoms in whatever ways possible, but
there are times when wiretaps and other such actions *are* the most
expidient ways to investigate criminals.  These views are
inconsistent, I think.  I will probably decide that absolute privacy
through crypto is the most reasonable solution.  But I'm still trying
to think of compromises.

IMHO, things like alt.whisteblowers, with airtight anonymity, will do
far more to insure our rights than simply protecting our own privacy,
since the former is active, and the latter is passive.

Now that I'm in free-association mode, Perhaps a.w should be a


That's only what I thought of off the top of my head.  If the New York
Times or some publication of similar stature were to pick up the "best
of" of all the different categories, research them, and publish them
if they turn out to be true, this would have the result of making
government far less corrupt, which would make me far more comfortable
than just knowing the corrupt ones couldn't read my data.  After all,
even with perfect crypto (yeah, I know, can't be done), my *body* is
still vulnerable, and they will still have guns and prisons.  In the
worst case, they don't *need* an excuse.

After all, the real problem today is not that they might see what I
say in private, but that they might decide they don't like it, and do
something about it.  If drugs, and prostitution, and all those non-PC
things were legalized, the security of information would matter a lot

I guess what I'm saying is that crypto is an imperfect solution to a
real problem, and that while it lets us go on with our lives the way
we think we should be able to, solving the real problem would be a lot
better.  This is not to say that I don't think crypto privacy doesn't
have its place: a.w, abuse hotlines, etc. are all excellect examples.
But instead of merely hiding from the system, perhaps we should also
keep an eye to changing it.