1998-09-07 - e$: crypto-expatriatism

Header Data

From: Robert Hettinga <rah@shipwright.com>
To: e$@vmeng.com, cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Message Hash: 5c4eb277cb12dc9a7174c66b102727df81d126249f7ef8cd9922e66367f54c60
Message ID: <v0401170db219f0b9c52c@[]>
Reply To: <v0313030ab219b7376d3b@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1998-09-07 21:34:41 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 05:34:41 +0800

Raw message

From: Robert Hettinga <rah@shipwright.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 05:34:41 +0800
To: e$@vmeng.com, cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Subject: e$: crypto-expatriatism
In-Reply-To: <v0313030ab219b7376d3b@[]>
Message-ID: <v0401170db219f0b9c52c@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain


At 3:38 PM -0400 on 9/7/98, Robert Hettinga wrote about Ryan Lackey's
whereabouts, on cypherpunks:

> If I told you, I would have to kill you?

Whew. Glad Ryan has now said something publically now about his and Ian's bit
of extraterritorial subtrifuge (though Ian  doesn't qualify, of course). I
mean, I just *hate* keeping secrets... ;-).

Frankly, I *really* have a hard time with all this
man-without-a-first-world-country, crypto-expat stuff. I think making the
technology not eonomically optional is the way to change things, and no
amount of romantic, jurisdiction-shopping "regulatory arbitrage" is going
to alter reality all that much.

But, I guess, Anguilla's as nice a place to have this affliction as any I can
think of.

And, I wish Vince -- and now, apparently, Ryan -- good luck, whatever happens.

Yet, for some reason, memories of Vietnam-era draft-dodgers keep coming to
mind. For what it cost them all personally, not much good came of it, I'd say,
for them or anyone else. The people who protested the war and "fought the good
fight" to end it stayed here to do it, after all. The most potent anti-war
activists were Vietnam vets themselves, for that matter. And, of course,
Ridgeway told Eisenhower at the outset that Vietnam was a multi-million-man
war, and Eisenhower stayed out accordingly, throwing a few marginal people on
the ground to shut Lodge up. It took Testosterone Jack to get a Special-Forces
hard-on. Eventually he and Desktop Lyndon ended up screwing a pooch
instead of the commies.

Do people out there really think somebody like Gore's going to do a
crypto-amnesty someday? I didn't think so. Ashcroft, maybe, but don't hold
your breath, there, either. It'll be decades, I bet, and our "boys over
there" will have grey hair long before they do come back home on this one.
Political inertia is probably going to keep a few people we know outside
the fence, looking in, for an awful long time after the issue's utterly

I expect people who do this crypto-expat stuff are going to get their
new passports refused at the U.S. border when they visit, and I think that
things are going to get worse for them for a long time before they get better.
Of course, there's a fair argument to be made that if they do get refused,
it's probably time to leave, anyway, but I'll let someone else gnaw that bone.

And, frankly, I *do* expect that the FBI will attempt domestic crypto
controls, just like they've been been trying to do for some time now. But,
unlike a lot of people, I think that the marketplace will steamroller all
such silliness into yet another roadtop attraction, before or after its

Anyway, as the old "excrable" e$yllogism goes,

Digital commerce is financial cryptography.
Financial cryptography is strong cryptography.
Therefore, if there's no strong cryptography, there's no digital commerce.

So, call me an optimist.

Like I've said before, I've heard the end of life and liberty as we know it
predicted over and over again -- hell, I've even believed so myself, once or
twice -- but, like the Gibbon quote in my .sig goes, "however it may deserve
respect for its usefulness and antiquity", I ain't seen it happen yet.

Bob Hettinga

Version: PGP for Personal Privacy 5.5.5

Robert A. Hettinga <mailto: rah@philodox.com>
Philodox Financial Technology Evangelism <http://www.philodox.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'