[linux-elitists] Legitimate crypto circumvention examples

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Thu Aug 2 15:57:07 PDT 2001


on Thu, Aug 02, 2001 at 06:35:19PM -0400, Bulent Murtezaoglu (bm@acm.org) wrote:
> 
> Off the top of my head, and without reading your references:
> 
>     KMS>     There is obviously no real point in people expending
>     KMS> time, effort and money in developing 'copy protection
>     KMS> technology' if means of circumnavigating it are going to be
>     KMS> freely, and legally, available.
> 
> Prevention of casual and illegal copying has always been hard.  Copy
> protections and such are just imperfect means of raising obstacles for
> non-determined individuals.  As the successful shutting down of
> widespread illegal copying via napster illustrates,  the copyright
> owners are not powerless.  So the implicit premise of copy protection
> being essential is not a given.  Furthermore it isn't clear that copy
> protection does not impede fair use.  

Part of what I'm writing:

Regarding the tendency of governments to limite private use of
cryptography (usually under the rubric of law enforcement) while
strengthening access rights to circumvention by use of mass-media
publishers:

      - On the personal privacy front, governments tend to fight those
	who wish to provide more effective cryptography to the general
	public.  More recently, means of bypassing attempts at security,
	including electronic monitoring, keystroke snooping, and other
	tools, have emerged.  The story of Phil Zimmerman and PGP
	(Pretty Good Privacy) is highly illustrative.

	    http://www.sciam.com/1197issue/1197cyber.html

	For a time, US discussion was largely focussed on the concept of
	"key escrow".  You could use cryptography, but a spare key had
	to be stashed with the Government.  This has been effectively
	quashed, largely thanks to Zimmerman.  Legacies remain,
	including the fact that most GNU/Linux cryptographic software is
	hosted on "non-US" (offshore) archive sites.  

      - On the publishing front, the approach has been more one of
	encrypting and blocking access to material _that's distributed
	widely_.

    It's a schizophrenic mentality:  the Government has opposed use of
    technology that lets private writings stay private, seeking instead
    to make them accessible to the government.  At the same time, it's
    sought to use technology to make publicly distributed material
    inaccessible without permission.  Both aims are fundamentally at
    conflict with themselves, not to mention each other.

-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
  What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?          There is no K5 cabal
    http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/           http://www.kuro5hin.org
Free Dmitry!! Boycott Adobe!! Repeal the DMCA!!  http://www.freesklyarov.org

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