[linux-elitists] Re: Criminalizing crypto criticism (fwd)

Eugene Leitl Eugene.Leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Wed Aug 1 13:13:39 PDT 2001


Okay, enough of cypherpunkish anathema. For today.

-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://www.lrz.de/~ui22204/">leitl</a>
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 12:58:19 -0700
From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
To: cypherpunks@lne.com
Subject: Re: Criminalizing crypto criticism

At 12:14 PM -0700 8/1/01, mmotyka@lsil.com wrote:
>I keep seeing words like "bona fide" and "legitimate" used as modifiers
>for "cryptographic researcher." The DMCA states :
>
>(3)(B) whether the person is engaged in a legitimate course of study, is
>employed, or is appropriately trained or experienced, in the field of
>encryption technology; and
>
>Isn't self-taught a legitimate course of study? Abraham Lincoln was
>largely self-taught. If a teenager, who has clearly not had the
>opportunity to amass much in the way of official credentials, can break
>CSS hasn't he "engaged in a legitimate course of study" and isn't he
>"appropriately experienced in the field of encryption technology?"

It's part of the credentialling of rights. See my earlier post on
Official Reporters, Official Thisandthat.

It gives one more piece of ammo for someone going after J. Random
Cryptographer. Shifts the burden a bit more to J. Random to "prove"
that he should be due the rights given to Approved Cryptographers.
(Like many rent-seekers, expect professional organizations to use
membership in their organization as one of the litmus tests. IACR may
see a surge in membership.)

>The modifiers are meaningless as is 3B.
>
>Why do we even discuss the damn thing. It's just another rathole to dive
>into. It's wrong. We know it's wrong. Short of nuclear blackmail
>Congress will not change it and the courts will not overturn it. I'll
>let the lawyers and those with deep pockets fight that battle. About the
>only good I might be able to do is to contribute to enhancing the means
>for people to exchange and distribute proscribed information with
>impunity.

As we've known for many years, the gubment can throw more legal cases
out there than "the community" can raise money for. Several years ago
it was the crypto export brouhaha (which still hasn't gotten
noticeably easier, say my corporate contacts). And the Online Decency
nonsense. The government pays their people to put cases out  there,
causing the lobbying orgs to beg for donations.

The latest is the DMCA. I was talking to an online advocacy guy
recently and he was telling me they figure they need $2 million to
defend/handle the Dimitry case. This even with Adobe dropping out out
of cowardice at what they've wrought.

I shrugged and said "Good luck." Maybe he thought I'd contribute....

All I can think of when I hear about these cases is how _far_ $2
million would go toward making available a lot of robust Mixmaster
(hopefully beyond Type II) remailers, the deployment of SWAN and
other "crypto by default" pipes, and similar "trust in the laws of
mathematics and not the laws of men" approaches. A $2 million project
to deploy a system of digital cash-paid remailers would be exciting.
$2 million to defend a Russian is not. Even if Dimitry is released,
the Copyright Establishment is _not_ going to back off. (Besides
Adobe, there are even more draconian moves from the satellite t.v.
people. Will online advocacy groups spend even more millions
defending the dish hackers? And so on, in a neverending cascade of
major pitched battles.)

(And, yes, I invest my money in some of these technological
approaches. I guess I'd better stop hinting at what these investments
are, lest BU be correct that merely building in ways to bypass Big
Brother is "spoliation.")

--Tim May
-- 
Timothy C. May         tcmay@got.net        Corralitos, California
Political: Co-founder Cypherpunks/crypto anarchy/Cyphernomicon
Technical: physics/soft errors/Smalltalk/Squeak/agents/games/Go
Personal: b.1951/UCSB/Intel '74-'86/retired/investor/motorcycles/guns





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