1998-05-04 - Re: A new Swiss banking novel

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From: Xcott Craver <caj@math.niu.edu>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 6a45b8de0f12cf368867a51984cf69dde6449c14e3fe04fb3d806a32410b1353
Message ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.980504173014.22503A-100000@baker>
Reply To: <>
UTC Datetime: 1998-05-04 23:11:50 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 16:11:50 -0700 (PDT)

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From: Xcott Craver <caj@math.niu.edu>
Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 16:11:50 -0700 (PDT)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: A new Swiss banking novel
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.980504173014.22503A-100000@baker>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Mon, 4 May 1998, Peter Swire wrote:

> Greetings:
> 	I'd be interested to hear anyone else's reactions to the book.  More
> generally, what do you say to well-intentioned people when they say the
> following -- won't anonymous accounts contribute, at least a bit, to more
> drug smuggling, arms smuggling, and international terrorism?

	You say, "Yes.  Yes they could.  And so could cars."

> 	[Please, no flames.  I am writing an academic article this summer on 
> money laundering and financial privacy.  Money laundering laws hold the 
> potential to choke off cryptography and financial privacy generally.  
> How can supporters of privacy best answer back to the calls for 
> stricter regulation?]

	I dunno.  I guess the best way to answer those calls in the public
arena is to let people know that crypto is useful stuff that everyone will
need as transactions move online.  The shady argument that crypto &
anonymity can facilitate crime is merely an attempt to associate the two,
to give the public the impression that this crypto stuff is up there with
assault weapons and C4, something which can and should be controlled,
while not really affect law-abiding citizens. 

	I advise crypto proponents to halt any analogy-making to 
firearms, for this reason.  Nothing against guns, of course; but to gain 
acceptance crypto cannot be dropped in the same conceptual bin as guns.


==-  Xcott Craver -- Caj@niu.edu -- http://www.math.niu.edu/~caj/  -==
"This is a different thing:  it's spontaneous and it's called 'wit.'"
                                                      -The Black Adder