1994-02-23 - “Surveillance is Security,” says Winston May

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From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 6a8ab9b01e29a048c526dff7cf71829eb0547b3280e96a86f1fc86587623a30c
Message ID: <199402232315.PAA25185@mail.netcom.com>
Reply To: <9402232247.AA00710@cs.widener.edu>
UTC Datetime: 1994-02-23 23:14:33 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 23 Feb 94 15:14:33 PST

Raw message

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 94 15:14:33 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: "Surveillance is Security," says Winston May
In-Reply-To: <9402232247.AA00710@cs.widener.edu>
Message-ID: <199402232315.PAA25185@mail.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Achbed Manganime writes:

> 	I think that the Clipper system has it's heart in the right
> place, but that it still has quite a few problems in implimentation.

Assuming that Clipper becomes the de facto legal standard (if it's
"just" an AT&T  Clipperphone product, who cares?), the concept of
mandatory key escrow and criminal prosecution of anyone caught (how?)
not escrowing their keys is *anathema* (that means "completely
against") to the most basic of individual rights. The implementation
details which Achbed objects to are completely secondary to the basic
concept of key escrow.

We've debated this so many times, especially last spring, but with 750
people on the Cypherpunks list, many of them new subscribers,
apparently we need to discuss the issues some more. I lack the energy
to write a detailed rebuttal of key escrow, having written my first
one in October 1992, 5 months before Clipper was announced, so I'll
just draw some parallels to crypto key escrow:

* Lock Escrow. To meet law enforcement needs, all locks on doors,
windows, safes, and other locked containers must have their keys
escrowed with the local police. Adequate safeguards will be in place
to ensure that the police use these escrowed keys when they really
need to. As Professor Dotty Dunning puts it, "Locked doors are not
needed by honest citizens."

* Photo Escrow. To cope with the rise of child porn and snuff films,
photo processors will be enlisted in the War on Illegal Images. All
film submitted for processing will be double-printed (the customer
will pay for this, as with Clipper "key escrow"). Copies of all photos
will be kept on permanent file at the local Photo Escrow Facility,
maintained jointly by the National Education Endowment and the
National Reconnaissance Office. The NEA and NRO will turn over photos
ot those with the appropriate need.

Polaroid cameras will be banned. A video camera standard has not yet
been developed, so in the meantime, the government will make it more
difficult for camcorders and VCRs to be imported from Japan and

* Diary Escrow. Since many illegal acts are described in the pages of
diaries and journals, the Administration has adopted this voluntary
page escrow system. Failure to escrow one's diary pages will not in
itself be a crime, but may taken as probable cause for a search of
one's house and/or prosecution as a RICO offender or CypherPervert.
Lawrence Detweiler, of the Colorado Legion of Decency, has accepted
the position of Inquisitioner.

Please understand that these proposals have a few rought edges in
implementation that need to be worked out, but their "hearts are in
the right places." Under Big Bro's boot, that is.

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Surveillance is Security!

--Winston May 

Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
tcmay@netcom.com       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-688-5409           | knowledge, reputations, information markets, 
W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA  | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^859433 | Public Key: PGP and MailSafe available.
"National borders are just speed bumps on the information superhighway."