1996-07-29 - Re: WaPo on Crypto-Genie Terrorism

Header Data

From: David Sternlight <david@sternlight.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 9b7e2193c9c41c505f83631cf2a9848465baa1d72ce09cd0dbeef37dcbbf1a18
Message ID: <v03007801ae22b81940ed@[]>
Reply To: <199607291030.GAA29365@unix.asb.com>
UTC Datetime: 1996-07-29 22:44:58 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 30 Jul 1996 06:44:58 +0800

Raw message

From: David Sternlight <david@sternlight.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 1996 06:44:58 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: WaPo on Crypto-Genie Terrorism
In-Reply-To: <199607291030.GAA29365@unix.asb.com>
Message-ID: <v03007801ae22b81940ed@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 11:27 PM -0700 7/28/96, Deranged Mutant wrote:

>> This, and similar remarks by others, consistently misses the point which I
>> have been making for about a year now, and which Director Freeh finally
>> made explicit in his testimony last week. That is--the government is
>> concerned with mass market software incorporating robust crypto, used
>> overseas, and recognizes that they can't keep niche products off the
>Really? The RAR archiver is getting quite popular (DOS and OS/2), and uses
>a variation of DES in the encryption (according to the authors).  An
>Italian archiver called CODEC also uses DES.  PGP gets more publicity than
>any crypto product around (CNN, NPR, Pacifica, NYTimes,  etc.) and will
>likely get bigger as time goes on and as the arguments over escrow proposals
>get louder.  MS's C[r]API and Netscape also make people more aware of
>strong crypto...

None of these are mass market software in the sense I discussed. Mass
market products are generally known as "productivity applications". Even
PGP, which has a certain following, doesn't do anything but encryption etc.
on its own. It's not a word processor like Microsoft Word, mail program
like Eudora, or shared data base cum mail system like Lotus Notes. Those
are the mass market applications generating huge volumes of readable
traffic of value. As for Netscape (and its mailer), it complies with ITAR.
Thus your rejoinder is irrelevant and non-responsive.


>Doesn't counter my question/argument.  Serious criminals with a few
>braincells who care about wiretapping or protecting their files from
>the authorities will  obviously not use anything that the government
>can read.

Let those who passed basic English use the skills they were taught. Freeh
said, and I repeated, that the system wasn't designed to prevent determined
criminals from using robust crypto.

>Even a ban on unescrowed crypto worldwide will not help.  Every copy
>of strong crypto software will not magically disappear upon the
>signing of such treaties and laws.

You are either dense or obfuscating. The point has now been made repeatedly
that the issue isn't the disappearance of stand-alone niche crypto, but
prevention of robust, built-in, unescrowed crypto, transparently usable in
exported copies of Microsoft Word, Netscape, Eudora, etc. Read the previous
sentence until you understand it.

<Rest of repetitive and off-topic matter omitted.>