1997-08-02 - Re: Denning backs away from GAK

Header Data

From: Bill Stewart <stewarts@ix.netcom.com>
To: Eric Murray <ericm@lne.com>
Message Hash: 7a8c969e3f1940a346a431240734b28560ef33a910376f92242e30e780748235
Message ID: <>
Reply To: <v03102807b00685fc9dd5@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1997-08-02 02:44:20 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 2 Aug 1997 10:44:20 +0800

Raw message

From: Bill Stewart <stewarts@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Sat, 2 Aug 1997 10:44:20 +0800
To: Eric Murray <ericm@lne.com>
Subject: Re: Denning backs away from GAK
In-Reply-To: <v03102807b00685fc9dd5@[]>
Message-ID: <>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

>Tim May writes:
>> And her "second thoughts" on GAK were not based on a principled 
>> repudiation of the concept of "escrowing" keys, or on Constitutional 
>> grounds, but only on the grounds that her study did not show that many 
>> criminal cases were much affected by the lack of key escrow.

That's fine - if we wanted people to oppose crypto-censorship on
moral or political grounds, we could ask the ACLU or EFF or CypherpunkCabal.
Professor Denning's position has never been that eavesdropping and
key escrow are required on the grounds of principle - it's
Louis Freeh's job to say "we can't go upsetting Law Enforcement's
traditional ability to eavesdrop on you, that'd be UnAmerican".
Her important contributions to the Bad Guys' position has been to say that
"Law enforcement needs your keys because there's no practical alternative",
which reinforces the FBI's and NSA's arguments.  Now that she's saying
"Law enforcement doesn't really need your keys, they're doing just fine
without them, even in spite of all the insider talks they've given me"
that knocks the utilitarian leg out from under them.  That's very good.

Won't stop the Bad Guys from trying, of course, but it's a good start.
On the other hand, it'll probably provide extra ammunition for the current
"legalize exports but criminalize use of crypto in crime" bills,
which gives the government more power than they've had before domestically
at the cost of losing the export battle which they were losing anyway.

#			Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, +1-415-442-2215 stewarts@ix.netcom.com
# You can get PGP outside the US at ftp.ox.ac.uk/pub/crypto/pgp
#   (If this is a mailing list or news, please Cc: me on replies.  Thanks.)