1997-05-31 - Re: Rotenberg as the Uber Enemy

Header Data

From: Declan McCullagh <declan@pathfinder.com>
To: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Message Hash: 342ceedfc85f8366292b9656553baa541f3a4b6ca63e46b5634910ada58ea4c8
Message ID: <Pine.GSO.3.95.970531031700.9128C-100000@cp.pathfinder.com>
Reply To: <v03102801afb561409260@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1997-05-31 07:35:32 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 31 May 1997 15:35:32 +0800

Raw message

From: Declan McCullagh <declan@pathfinder.com>
Date: Sat, 31 May 1997 15:35:32 +0800
To: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Subject: Re: Rotenberg as the Uber Enemy
In-Reply-To: <v03102801afb561409260@[]>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.95.970531031700.9128C-100000@cp.pathfinder.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Unfortunately, Tim is letting a rant get in the way of reality. A shame,
really, for he's capable of better. Let me respond. I may not be very
cordial. We lost tonight's soccer game (goddamn wimpy libertarians) and
went to some cheezy Crystal City sports bar afterwards. I just got back
home, and it's 3:20 am...

Anyway, Rotenberg and EPIC are not the Uber Enemy. Rather, they disagree
with cypherpunk and libertarian positions on some issues. So we have
issue-by-issue alliances with them. Let's break it down:

CRYPTO: EPIC takes a purist civil liberties approach to crypto. They've
been the ones criticizing the SAFE "crypto in crime" provisions. Did the
latest VTW alert sent out today even mention that portion of the bill, let
alone criticize it?

ANONYMITY: No other group in DC is such a staunch supporter of online
anonymity publicly, though look for something from Cato soon. In fact, I
linked to EPIC's copy of the McIntyre decision for my Friday Netly piece.
Many business groups don't like anonymity online -- hurts the marketeers.

FREE SPEECH: EPIC is co-counsel in ACLU lawsuit against CDA. I believe
they've said some of the anti-spam legislation is unconstitutional.

FOIA: David Sobel does fabulous work snagging government documents the
spooks don't want released.

PRIVACY: EPIC wants more Federal involvement to protect privacy and a
Federal Privacy Commission (or something similar). Lots of laws,
bureaucracies. Though EPIC does realize there's a First Amendment; other
privacy groups are even more aggressive. EPIC is of course on the side of
libertarians when it comes to government violations of privacy.

>From a libertarian perspective, EPIC is good on everything but privacy. On
that they want Big Government solutions.

But that doesn't mean we reject and condemn what they do on other issues.
Do we reject Eagle Forum's anti-Clipper endorsement because they're a
bunch of ultraconservative wackos? Do we reject the National Organization
for Women's position on the CDA as bad because they're a bunch of
ultraliberal wackos? How about the National Association of Broadcaster's
amicus brief against the CDA? The Christian Coalition rejecting a national
ID cards and numbers? Ralph Nader wanting open access to government

No. We don't. Instead, we address this issue by issue. EPIC and Rotenberg
are not always, but are often, our allies. 


On Fri, 30 May 1997, Tim May wrote:

> I suppose I am developing a reputation amongst the Inside the Beltway Cyber
> Rights Groups (tm) as a pain in the ass, but nearly everytime I see one of
> their chief spokeswonks giving a policy statement I realize they are "not
> on my side."
> The latest quote is from Marc Rotenberg, on a CNN piece on spam and
> anti-spam legislation, saying that what the legislators in Congress really
> need to look into is how the spammers develop their data bases.....
> Incredible. Does he propose investigations of private data gathering?
> Perhaps search warrants served on those who take public postings and
> construct data bases?
> Look, I'm annoyed by getting 5-10 "unwanted" spam messages a day. But I
> realize the "spammers" are merely  taking publicly available (= legally
> available, as 99.99% of all such information is) information and using
> legal channels to contact me. I may not "like" it, but their behavior is as
> legal as someone calling me on the phone.
> (And ny nearly any measure of hassle factor, dashing to get to the phone
> only to find it's a salesman selling something I don't want is worse than
> any 20 unwanted e-mail messages.)
> So, Marc Rotenberg wants Congress to "look into" (= interfere with)
> compilation and use of public information.
> These people are NOT our allies.
> --Tim May
> There's something wrong when I'm a felon under an increasing number of laws.
> Only one response to the key grabbers is warranted: "Death to Tyrants!"
> ---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:----
> Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
> tcmay@got.net  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
> W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
> Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
> "National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."