1997-05-15 - Re: Just Say “No” to Congress

Header Data

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
To: declan@well.com
Message Hash: b341b281870037ddc27fbde9cbd17a1481c4b20d9ba20e60f20881f38878564c
Message ID: <v03007806afa05fdfd3dc@[]>
Reply To: <v03007802af9fa094e283@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1997-05-15 06:33:10 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 14:33:10 +0800

Raw message

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 14:33:10 +0800
To: declan@well.com
Subject: Re: Just Say "No" to Congress
In-Reply-To: <v03007802af9fa094e283@[]>
Message-ID: <v03007806afa05fdfd3dc@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 9:25 PM -0800 5/14/97, Declan McCullagh wrote:
>Tim wrote:
>> We're basically under assault from all directions. The bozos in Congress
>> and state governments are spinning out new laws and obscure regulations
>> faster than we can react...and of course they're using our money to
>> generate these laws and lobby for them. Further, a mostly-brainwashed
>> Washington media population is surprising uncritical of these blizzard
>> drifts of new laws.
>Hmmm... Do I get counted in the "mostly-brainwashed" category?

No point in naming names. Nearly all reporters covering Washington are
essentially "policy wonks" (a term I hate, but it's the jargon du jour).

They lose sight of the forest for the trees. Further, nearly all news
outlets--the newsweekies, the newspapers, the broadcast networks--want
reporters to be somewhat neutral. (Which I don't necessarily disagree
with...but it explains why only the most wonkish and "lost in the trees"
reporters can tolerate and thrive in a Washington environment.

(Declan knows all this, of course, so I'm not teaching him how to suck eggs.)

Any reasonable person, whether leftist, rightist, libertarian, or whatever,
would respond to the long boring negotiations over bills--the soporific
markup Declan described, for example--with a cry of "I'm mad as hell and
I'm not going to take it anymore."

Those who tolerate and thrive in Washington thus must think the "political"
issues, the backroom deals, the wheelings and dealings, are worth the

This is why I call them brainwashed. A better term might be "born

By the way, nothing I saw in the latest version of SAFE is acceptable. And
I agree with Declan that it will only get worse. The NSA and FBI will lean
on Hyde, on the International Relations committee, and the final version
will have murky language about legitimate needs of law enforcement, key
recovery, etc.

And there is zero chance that arbitrarily strong crypto will be freely

Result? Americans as a whole gain no freedoms not already implicit in the
Constitution, pernicious language takes away some existing guaranteed
freedoms, NSA gets it wish to control exports, and key recovery is given a

>FYI, here are two bills that Feinstein introduced recently:
>     S. 504. Children's Privacy Protection and Parental Empowerment Act
>     of 1997. Prohibits the sale of personal information about children
>     without their parents' consent. Introduced by Feinstein (D-CA) on
>     3/20/97. Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

>From what I read here, another statist law. If I come into information
legally (scenarios left as an exercise for the reader), it is mine to sell,
give away, or do with as I please. Period. Crap about "parental
empowerment" is just a smokescreen. If parents or children wish to protect
certain information, let them not provide it. ("Remember Johnnie, if a man
comes up to you and says he's from Child Protective Services and he wants
to ask you a few questions, what did I tell you to say to him?" "You mean,
'Fuck off, fascist narc!'?" "Good, Johnnie, good.")

>     S. 600. Personal Information Privacy Act of 1997. Amends FCRA to
>     prohibit sale on non-public information, prohibits use of SSN as ID
>     number, limits use of SSN on drivers liscenses. Introduced by
>     Feinstein (D-CA) on 4/16/97. Referred to the Committee on Finance.

This sounds OK, as I hate being required by law to give my SS number to so
many. (In California it's required for car registration...my SS card says
plainly "Not to be used for identification," but this is ignored.)

But I fear it makes little difference. The SS number is already so widely
linked in data bases that it can be easily found. (Income tax forms are
sent to mailing addresses with the SS number prominently in the upper
right-hand corner of the damned mailing label!!!!)

Swinestein is in general a hopeless case, one who should be retired from
government office with extreme prejudice.

--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."