1994-05-01 - So, what are we going to do?

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To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 4e1b031bcf074bea88bab6a1739d52072588bf4ffb5bb6616cd961d53292b2db
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UTC Datetime: 1994-05-01 20:00:50 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 1 May 94 13:00:50 PDT

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Date: Sun, 1 May 94 13:00:50 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: So, what are we going to do?
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Content-Type: text/plain

	Very interesting threads going along in here.  I'm a fairly new 
reader to the list.  In fact, until I started reading WiReD, Cud, EFF, and this 
list, I didn't even know that I had to worry about privacy in cyberspace.  
RE: the folowing
This is largely, however, off the topic.  What is important, and a point
on which I think we agree, is that the regulation of strong crypto, or in
your definition, the interference in the marketplace, is unacceptable,
unneeded and nothing more than a calculated attempt to maintain the
status quo of usurpation of individual rights in favor of federal power
and influence.  Even the national security externality falls when one
considers the uselessness of export regulation in the age of digital

	It may be too late for the federal gov't to regulate cryptography. 
The genie is already out of the bottle.  They might legislate it, even 
criminalize it, but private non-clipper crypto is here.  I believe it is 
here to stay.  At least, I'm not giving up _MY_ copy of PGP.  As long as 
I've got a copy, my friends can get copies.  Their friends can get copies 
from them.  Just _HOW_ heavy-handed does the Justice Dept. plan to get? 

	Will they come in at midnight, knocking down doors, shouting 
"we have a search warrant to locate illegal cryptography in your 
possession!" and run off with my equipment?  _That_ could be quite 
embarrassing for crypto users like me, who are _not_ pornographers, 
drug dealers, or terrorrists to show up in court.  What is the prosecuter 
going to tell the judge?  "So far, we've decyphered his secret bar-b-que 
sauce recipie and his grandmothers instructions for making chocolate-chip 
cookies, but we expect to have the plaintext of his letter to his sister 
anytime now."  

	What could I possibly tell the judge?  "I just felt that my own 
data files were my own, and nobody else's, business.  I just thought I 
was entitled to a little privacy."  How would that read in the press? 
Could the government really afford to look that stupid?  (Unless, of 
course, they really _are_.)