1996-12-30 - No Subject

Header Data

From: Bovine Remailer <haystack@cow.net>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 6b5d5b5b4a2082a768c181a4d7d7b777b2465aa7892e37896b58ad61a096798c
Message ID: <9612302254.AA00731@cow.net>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1996-12-30 23:10:53 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 15:10:53 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: Bovine Remailer <haystack@cow.net>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 15:10:53 -0800 (PST)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: No Subject
Message-ID: <9612302254.AA00731@cow.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 5:15 PM 12/29/1996, Timothy C. May wrote:
>This fascist move by the U.S. government is a huge threat to our liberty.
>It may be time to simply give up on communicating with these assholes and
>give them the treatment they have earned.
> ...
>And this a very big one indeed. Not only does it probably put organizations
>like C2 out of business, at least in terms of supporting the development of
>things like the South African and British Web products, but it also may
>mean the *Cypherpunks list itself*, and some of its members, are ipso facto
>in violation of this "giving comfort to the enemy" (to paraphrase) language!
> ...
>This very list advocates violation of the ITARs in various ways (I speak of
>"the list" as a person in the sense of the consensus of the list...there
>may not be unanimity, but the consensus of the vocal members of the list is
>It may be time for us to go underground. It may be time to take much, much,
>much, much more extreme steps. This fascism is unacceptable.

While Tim May has had many many great ideas, this is not one of them.

To paraphrase Joseph Stalin: Tim, how many divisions do you have?

The cypherpunks have virtually no force at all.  If the battle is
moved to that arena, the cypherpunks (and everybody else) lose big
time.  If the cypherpunks manage to pull off some sort of "extreme
step", those who aren't shot while resisting arrest will go to prison.
Worst of all, most people will applaud the action.  "Extreme steps"
legitimize the radical proposals of the Clipper crowd.

While I wouldn't go so far as to say "I feel your pain", I am
sympathetic with the frustration you must feel when your own
government is the greatest threat to all that it is right and decent.

But, "extreme steps" are the wrong approach and play right into the
hands of the defense establishment.  It saves them the trouble of
implementing a "strategy of tension."

The right approach is to continually reiterate that the cypherpunks
are mainstream and fairly conservative.  Many of us like the "bad boy"
image, but most of what has been proposed is very solidly rooted in
American traditions.

If the ITAR regulations can be amended to make discussions on this
list a "conspiracy", then they are very likely unconstitutional.
Article I, Section I, "All legislative powers herein granted shall be
vested in a congress of the United States..."

Pretty unambiguous.

We should not underestimate the broad public support for private
communications which exists in the United States.  Even people who are
unfamiliar with the issue are shocked when they learn that the U.S.
government is trying to gain access to all communications.

The only people who want GAK are in the government.  There is no
constituency in the population which wants it, and quite a few that do
not.  The more publicly the issue is discussed and the more actively
we scrutinize the lies and deceptions of the U.S. government, the
more successful we will be.

The GAK crowd have not been honest or forthright in their public
statements on their plans.  We must reiterate this again and again and
again.  If they cannot be honest about their proposed policy, how can
we trust them to hold the keys?  Obviously, we cannot.  This will be
obvious to most Americans, and even some reporters.

Red Rackham