1997-06-02 - Re: May’s Banal Rant

Header Data

From: Eric Murray <ericm@lne.com>
To: shamrock@netcom.com
Message Hash: 5b818b101e06919998a2e07fafdb86cadaba8046b66e24de3f6a5dfec435eb5c
Message ID: <199706021447.HAA19930@slack.lne.com>
Reply To: <>
UTC Datetime: 1997-06-02 15:04:39 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 23:04:39 +0800

Raw message

From: Eric Murray <ericm@lne.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 23:04:39 +0800
To: shamrock@netcom.com
Subject: Re: May's Banal Rant
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <199706021447.HAA19930@slack.lne.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Lucky Green writes:
> At 12:31 AM 6/2/97 -0400, Marc Rotenberg wrote:
> >Great plan. I'll watch TV and let Congress pass a bill
> >requiring mandatory identification for Internet users.
> >Really clever.
> First of all, such a bill will be passed regardless of what you or anyone
> else does. The only question is when. You may be able to delay passing of
> this bill for a few years, perhaps even a few decades, but pass it will.
> So let us turn to the more relevant question: is it better for such bill to
> pass now or ten years from now? It may seem obvious that the answer is "ten
> years from now", but I feel that it not nearly as obvious as it seems and
> in fact may even not be correct.
> Ten years and a few Sarin attacks on American subways and other Reichstag
> Fires later, such a bill will pass with the full backing of Joe Sixpack and
> Jill Soccer Mom. The passing will be a formality.
> If, however, Congress was to pass such a bill now or in the very near
> future, the population would recognize the law for what it is: yet another
> fascist powergrab. Which in turn might trigger the exercise of certain
> recall provisions available to the citizens of the US thanks to the Bill of
> Right.
> It is up to each of us to decide which of these two possible futures is
> "better".

If those were the only two futures, you'd be right.

However it's more likely that if an 'Internet drivers license' bill
passed next week, Joe and Jill wouldn't care.  They're not on the Net
anyhow, and they already know (by reading _Time_ and watching TV)
that the Net is full of hackers and porn.  An Internet Drivers License
would help authorities crack down on hackers, or so the tv would
tell Jack and Jill (and they'd beleive it).

In addition, few people care about anonymity.  Jack and Jill certainly dont.
Try explaining why net users should be allowed to be anonymous to
someone who barely understands the net.  Like your parents for example.

If an 'Internet drivers license' bill passed next week, it'd take at
least a year to get it repealed (probably much longer).  During
that time, if the government wished to do so, it could stage any
number of provocative acts, blame them on 'Internet Terrorists', then
get James Kallstron on tv to announce that the 'Terrorists' have been
caught via their Internet Drivers Licenses.  

   Eric Murray  ericm@lne.com         Privacy through technology!
  Network security and encryption consulting.    PGP keyid:E03F65E5