1996-03-09 - Re: rhetorical trickery

Header Data

From: Mutant Rob <wlkngowl@unix.asb.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 58ab7918fdf12e0839485bae01b76485a7746dca148a76307f0ac1f6ce2849b9
Message ID: <199603090231.VAA01548@bb.hks.net>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1996-03-09 06:34:57 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 9 Mar 1996 14:34:57 +0800

Raw message

From: Mutant Rob <wlkngowl@unix.asb.com>
Date: Sat, 9 Mar 1996 14:34:57 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: rhetorical trickery
Message-ID: <199603090231.VAA01548@bb.hks.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain


Vladimir Z. Nuri wrote:
> there is an infamous case of a child pornographer or pedophile in
> California that is sometimes cited by law enforcement representatives
> as a good example of the evils of encryption: supposedly he encrypted
> his diary and it couldn't be unlocked by them. this was mentioned in
> the article.
> but I have a question: how did they know it was his diary?

If I remember some earlier discussion about that case from a few years
ago, the file was called "diary.pgp".

What they don't mention is that they were still able to convict him.
They were just under the belief that they could figure out who all the
victims were they didn't know about from his alleged diary... so they
could "help" the other victims or maybe get him ore jail time?

Odd thing is he used PGP 1.0, which used Bass-O-Matic.

> I've noticed that people tend to often make conceptual leaps like
> this that are wholly unjustified. it is easy to get their opposition

Yes. This is quite common in political/social discussions and
argumentation.  A big problem is that people are no longer taught
rhetoric and argumentation in schools.  Another problem is that it
is a clear example the opponents of strong crypto can point to, with
lots of emotional strings attached.  The best you can do is to note
that the case in question was still sucessfully prosecuted, and also
to give counter-examples as to why PGP has helped people (cite the
usual freedom fighters in Burma, Amnesty International examples, or
cite the theft of records from the UN's investigation in Bosnia, noting
that it wasn't encrypted....)

- --Rob
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