1993-06-15 - Re: 2600 testimony to Markey’s subcommittee

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From: gnu (John Gilmore)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: f7ef9ff0259930c64137db0453bd38d8255a51ba05a8927a04faeee0dbb494ac
Message ID: <9306150331.AA08630@toad.com>
Reply To: <9306141559.AA01370@boxer.nas.nasa.gov>
UTC Datetime: 1993-06-15 03:31:23 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 14 Jun 93 20:31:23 PDT

Raw message

From: gnu (John Gilmore)
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 93 20:31:23 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: 2600 testimony to Markey's subcommittee
In-Reply-To: <9306141559.AA01370@boxer.nas.nasa.gov>
Message-ID: <9306150331.AA08630@toad.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

I was at the subcommittee hearing last Wednesday when "Emmanuel
Goldstein" testified, and I took notes.  It is true that two committee
members (about half of the total who were present) focused on 2600 as
being a handbook for crime.  Don Delaney, who was also on the panel,
giving good evidence about the extent and organization of phone fraud
in New York City, noted that the First Amendment had already been
abridged to protect kids from pornography, and proposed a law that
would make it a crime to sell security-related information to
juveniles.  Subcommittee Chairman Markey told a long rambling story
about people going down Maple St. rattling the doorknobs and why that
was a bad thing.  He compared 2600 to people who rattle the doorknobs
and then post on the bulletin board downtown, "The door to 123 Maple
St. is unlocked".  Rep. Fields said to "Emmanuel" that it was
"frightening that someone like you thinks there's a protected right to
violate someone's privacy."

The ironic thing is that another panelist, John J. Haugh, heads a
consulting firm that publishes details about similar topics.  He's the
editor and principal author of a two volume reference work, _Toll
Fraud and Telabuse_, published by his company in early 1992.  He's
also the editor of a national newsletter, _Telecom & Network Security
Review_, also published by his company, with subscribers in 49 states
and 18 countries.

Mr. Haugh did not get hectored by the panel.  But Mr. Haugh charges 
$170/year for six issues of his newsletter, and wore a suit to the
hearing.  When the same information is published at 2600 prices, 
packaged for more adventurous people, it is "troubling".

My opinion is that when the privacy and security of society depends on
those doors being locked, then yes, we ought to have whole squads of
Boy Scouts, cops, hackers, and ordinary citizens rattling those
doorknobs hourly and daily.  And when we find one open, we should let
the world know, because the privacy and security of the world depends
on it.  This applies to information like, "if you tune an ordinary
radio to these frequencies, you can hear everyone's phone calls."
If the info is suppressed, the problem will never be fixed, because
not enough public pressure will be brought to bear on those responsible
for fixing it.

	John Gilmore

PS:  The first half of the hearing was on encryption and Clipper, and I
am pleased to say that the subcommittee took the *right* stance on that
issue -- that the Clipper proposal was trouble and that fundamental rights,
upon which our society is based, were at stake.