1994-04-29 - Cypherpunks as Lobbying/Political Group

Header Data

From: cfrye@mason1.gmu.edu (Curtis D Frye)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: f990467f8ef83e5ae1a524923b059bde0739bf8d6660f08a1df3a27af36c1f2c
Message ID: <9404291418.AA22578@mason1.gmu.edu>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1994-04-29 14:18:18 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 29 Apr 94 07:18:18 PDT

Raw message

From: cfrye@mason1.gmu.edu (Curtis D Frye)
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 94 07:18:18 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Cypherpunks as Lobbying/Political Group
Message-ID: <9404291418.AA22578@mason1.gmu.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

David Mandl argues that  putting out a document illustrating why Clipper is a
catastrophe "is a very bad idea and not the purpose of the list".  I disagree
for several reasons.

First, the purpose of the list is whatever we decide it is.  While the genesis
of the document shouldn't be broadcast in real time over the list, the final
product would certainly benefit from the folks on here giving it as thorough a
going-over as they have time and energy for.

Second, the DC Cypherpunks meeting held simultaneously with the Northern CA and
other sessions dealt with appropriate and effective ways to bring political
pressure against Clipper/Digital Telephony.  Hey, you live here, you think like
you live here :-).  To offset the market pressure ("suitable incentivization")
the Clinton Administration is bringing to bear we need to use a variety of tools
and, continuing Dark Unicorn's Sun Tzu theme, attack the government position at
the corners.  Unless and until someone puts out a competing product or add-on,
all we have are guerrilla tactics.  Handing out information in disk form at
trade shows *was* brought up at the DC meeting and, while I disagree slightly
with Jim Sewell on exactly how non-inflammatory the language used should be, ththis tactic is usable, variable, and potentially very effective.

Third, many Cypherpunks subscribers have been interviewed for radio and print
pieces on Clipper/Digital Telephony.  This project is no different -- we just
ask the questions as well as give the answers :-).

Fourth, I couldn't imagine the piece would be represented as an official 
position of "the Cypherpunks".  You have to be a coherent organization to have
a position and, while we all tend to agree that Clipper is a bad idea, a
unified whole we ain't.  

Fifth, don't read it if you don't want to.  I'll make sure it's labeled clearly
so you can delete it straight away if you so desire.

"The Cypherpunks" will never be a lobbying group to supplant EFF or CPSR,
there's no reason small bands can't form temporary teams to accomplish a common
goal.  In this case, the goal is to further spread the word that Clipper and
Digital Telephony should be seen as the privacy killer it is.

And dealt with accordingly.