1997-01-02 - Re: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice

Header Data

From: Adam Shostack <adam@homeport.org>
To: tcmay@got.net (Timothy C. May)
Message Hash: d2bff08e84b1b7db9bb56b908d1935788c69a1b957aa49e953870ca7e7b94a39
Message ID: <199701021523.KAA14949@homeport.org>
Reply To: <v03007801aeef0dff9afe@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1997-01-02 15:28:15 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 2 Jan 1997 07:28:15 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: Adam Shostack <adam@homeport.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 1997 07:28:15 -0800 (PST)
To: tcmay@got.net (Timothy C. May)
Subject: Re: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice
In-Reply-To: <v03007801aeef0dff9afe@[]>
Message-ID: <199701021523.KAA14949@homeport.org>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Timothy C. May wrote:

| >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.
| I gave up on trying to "appear reasonable" long ago. Take it or leave it.
| "Extreme step" doesn't mean doing anything that is traceable to a
| particular person, and certainly doesn't mean doing militia-type things to
| physical buildings or the criminals who work in them.
| Rather, pushing for things like violating the ITARs, which we do. (Bill
| Frantz noted, tongue in cheek I think, that Cypherpunks do not adovacate
| breaking such laws. Well, this is of course absurd. Our whole focus on
| steganography, on remailers, on carrying CD-ROMs out of the country, etc.,
| is basically advocating various circumventions of USG laws.)
| Gilmore's SWAN (getting machine-to-machine links widely encrypted) is
| another "extreme step."
| As to our "reasonableness," I make little effort to hide the fact that I
| support strong cryptography because it means that the plague of democracy
| and "mob rule" can be turned back...I view crypto anarchy as an elitist
| development, one which the ubermensch will appreciate, but the masses will
| recoil in horror from.
| Fuck the herd.

	Crypto anarchy is not an elitist development, nor is
'equalizing.'  The privacy and tax avoidance features of crypto
anarchy are already available to the very wealthy, as Unicorn can
doubtless explain.  They are not available to the moderately wealthy,
nor are they easy to take advantage of.

	I'll declare victory the day McSwitzerland starts advertising
for business in the pages of Newsweak.

	Cheap, easy, universal access to the techniques of tax
avoidance, binding contracts with escrowed bonds in jurisdictions with
unemasculated contract law mean that things available only to the very
rich are available to anyone who chooses to use them.

	Tim sees this as eliteness, since those who gain will be self
selected.  I see it as a democritization of privacy, one the
'masses' will be glad to be involved with, if its presented properly.
(See 'The Great Simoleon Caper' for more on proper presentation.)


"It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once."