1994-05-06 - Re: The Value of Money (fwd) (fwd)

Header Data

From: Derek Atkins <warlord@MIT.EDU>
To: lassie!jim%lassie@netcom.com (Jim Nalbandian)
Message Hash: ff122e3cde1d971c0a22762dbe9334841fce5ad0f78aba8801b952bf80b8e9eb
Message ID: <9405061103.AA22471@podge.MIT.EDU>
Reply To: <197@lassie.lassie.uucp>
UTC Datetime: 1994-05-06 11:03:19 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 6 May 94 04:03:19 PDT

Raw message

From: Derek Atkins <warlord@MIT.EDU>
Date: Fri, 6 May 94 04:03:19 PDT
To: lassie!jim%lassie@netcom.com (Jim Nalbandian)
Subject: Re: The Value of Money (fwd) (fwd)
In-Reply-To: <197@lassie.lassie.uucp>
Message-ID: <9405061103.AA22471@podge.MIT.EDU>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

>  It's people like this that make me seriously rethink my anti-gun
> regulation stance.
> -uni- (Dark)
> why what ever do you mean? i think all american's should not have

I believe he means that you appear basically out of nowhere, send
about 20 messages to the list with very little content, and appear to
not have even been reading much of the list.  I may be wrong, but it
appears to me that you saw the list in a recent publication and joined
it sometime in mid-to-late April.

However, not to make this a flaming letter, I would like to address
your distribution point.  And I must agree that the distribution of
PGP has been fairly Internet-biased.  However one reason, IMHO, that
this is the case is that private BBSs were afraid to carry PGP because
of the questionable legality w.r.t. the RSA patent.

With the advent of PGP 2.5, to be released soon, this problem will go
away in the US, and I believe that we will see a great number of
distribution sites go online.

I don't know if the government is going to ban crypto, but I am going
to fight my darndest to try to stop them from doing so.  The question
about criminals using crypto is a crock -- even if they ban it, the
criminals will still use it: that's why they are criminals, they don't
follow the law!  So banning crypto will basically get the government
nowhere (then again, I feel the same way about the outlawing of guns,
but see where that went).

Another thing is that right now, I don't think that every person and
his mother would know what to do if they had PGP.  It requires,
currently, some base of knowledge to successfully use crypto, and it
is really easy to have a false sence of security.  For example, Joe
Average ComputerUser is using PGP.  He is on a shared machine and
keeps his private key online, has a 6-character passphrase (his dog's
name) and types it over the modem...  Yet this person thinks that no
one can read his files since they are encrypted using PGP!

No, this is not the right way to do it.  We need to educate people
about the risks of NOT using encryption, and when they understand the
risks and start asking how to not be at risk, *then* you can show them
PGP and explain how it fills the holes, and what it can and cannot do.

That is the way that we will have to do it.  And that is what we have
(or at least I have) been trying to accomplish.

I hope this makes sence to you.


         Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, G MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board (SIPB)
    Home page: http://www.mit.edu:8001/people/warlord/home_page.html
       warlord@MIT.EDU    PP-ASEL     N1NWH    PGP key available