1993-10-20 - Re: crypto anarchy

Header Data

From: Stanton McCandlish <mech@eff.org>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: d0bbec866aa5a38e34bfcd061b87fc764c94f8b16450e7a51a9ca1b798d8db68
Message ID: <199310201547.AA06620@eff.org>
Reply To: <9310201421.AB11672@anon.penet.fi>
UTC Datetime: 1993-10-20 15:47:44 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 20 Oct 93 08:47:44 PDT

Raw message

From: Stanton McCandlish <mech@eff.org>
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 93 08:47:44 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: crypto anarchy
In-Reply-To: <9310201421.AB11672@anon.penet.fi>
Message-ID: <199310201547.AA06620@eff.org>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> If we need this stuff out VERY soon, then there is a serious problem:
> Time-Warner, AT&T, etc. can afford to spend major $$$ on implementing
> technology, including having employees work on these projects full
> time, while the cypherpunks work that goes on is largely on a part
> time basis by otherwise employed professionals, or students.

Hadn't meant to sound alarmist.  By "VERY soon" I mean, within the next
couple of years. 

> Many volunteers have spent countless man-hours working on PGP, and by
> no stretch of anybody's imagination is it "plug-n-play" ready.  I
> can't tell you how many announcements of upcoming Windows PGP
> front-ends I've seen.  I'm sure many hobbyists are working on it as
> much as they can, and I'm glad, but these people can't be expected to
> compete with real software development efforts.
> A software company that wants to make "plug-and-play" easy to use
> crypto software which meets #1 and #2 - including integration into
> popular mail software - will bury PGP or RIPEM by sheer numbers.  Most
> people fall into the "clueless and/or lazy" category.

Yes, this is so.  The problem however is not just that PGP is difficult. 
The entire UseNet/Internet experience is too difficult for the average
person, who probably doesn't even know which end of a diskette to insert
first.  The media conglomerates will bring a filtered and [surprise!]
TV-like version of the net to households and offices, that will be simple
and easy, point and shoot.  Useless, censored, commercialized to the
point of saturation.  I don't see any room for privacy in a network
like that.  *That's* what we're up against.

Sure, no one can afford to write cypherpunks code full time, but what can
be done should be done, and hopefully people will collaborate more.  Every
tool that makes it easier to integrate is a step in the right direction. 
The various scripts and utils that people have come up with for PGP use
on "the" net, GenMSG for Fido mail, the menu/shell programs, it's all a
step in the right direction.

-=> mech@eff.org <=-
Stanton McCandlish     Electronic Frontier Foundation Online Activist & SysOp
"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood of
ideas in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." -JFK
NitV-DC BBS 202-232-2715, Fido 1:109/? IndraNet 369:111/1, 14.4V32b 16.8ZyX