6 September 1997
Source: Mail list email@example.com
See Tim May's The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto and Cyphernomicon
See related Junger v. Daley crypto suit
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 09:41:38 -0700 To: cypherpunks@Algebra.COM From: Tim May <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: A helluva way to run a country, er, a world Sender: email@example.com At 7:54 AM -0700 9/6/97, Syniker@aol.com wrote: >In a message dated 97-09-06 07:15:18 EDT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Vladimir Z. >Nuri) writes: > ><< maybe I'm not following closely enough, but I haven't seen a *single* > reference. that's really eerie. can't we get a *single* > senator to bring up that issue? >> > >me neither... it's fucking mind-boggling.... >and where's all the 'censorship' people???? >it's like -- no one can make the 'connection' .... >the CDA and FCA lists are dead ... not a word ... >how can we all have wet powder at the same time? I didn't see Detweiler's original message ('til just now), but I think this is wrong, the "I haven't seen a *single* reference" (to the constitutionality of mandatory key escrow). In some of the accounts of the Freeh-Feinstein-etc. colloquy, there were mentions that mandatory key escrow probably would be desirable, but probably not be possible. (I took this to mean they, including Freeh, recognized it would be unconstitutional). Of course, then the draft text of the GAK bill floated by the next day, and it of course contained no references to constitutionality (not surprisingly, as draft bills are not self-analyses). Despite my cynicism, I'd expect the courts to issue an immediate stay on enforcement on such a law, as happened with the CDA. With probably an expedited hearing before the Supreme Court. As so many have noted, it seems to be a slam dunk infringement on the right to speak freely and in whatever language one wishes. And some 4th and 5th and other involvements. It may be a stalking horse. A threat. Designed to force a compromise. "If you don't pass McCain-Kerrey, this is what you'll get." A helluva way to run a country, er, a world. But look on the bright side: the militias and other patriot groups are getting a huge bounce out of this. Stay far away from the nests of vipers. Jefferson's wisdom that we need a revolution every generation or so is apt...though it's been about 180 years too long. Now even those, like Sternlight, who claimed the government would never require key escrow, have to admit we were right all along. --Tim May There's something wrong when I'm a felon under an increasing number of laws. Only one response to the key grabbers is warranted: "Death to Tyrants!" ---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:---- Timothy C. May | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money, email@example.com 408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA | knowledge, reputations, information markets, Higher Power: 2^1398269 | black markets, collapse of governments. "National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."
To: Cypherpunks <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: A helluva way to run a country, er, a world Date: Sat, 06 Sep 1997 14:48:02 -0400 From: "Peter D. Junger" <email@example.com> I am not sure how serious the proposed FBI-backed bill is. It may just be intended as a bargaining chip. Or perhaps its sponsors are as clueless about contitutional law as they are about cryptography and how computers work. It is conceivable that the courts might uphold (a carefully drafted) law regulating the _use_ of cryptographic software, but the proposed bill does not do that. Instead it provides: (b) As of January 1, 1999, it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture for sale or distribution within the U.S., distribute within the U.S., sell within the U.S., or import into the U.S., any product that can be used to encrypt communications or electronic information, unless that product: (1) includes features, such as key recovery, trusted third party compatibility or other means, that (A) permit immediate decryption upon receipt of decryption information by an authorized party without the knowledge or cooperation of the person using such encryption product; and (B) is either enabled at the time of manufacture, distribution, sale, or import, or may be enabled by the purchase or end user; or (2) can be used only on systems or networks that include features, such as key recovery, trusted third party compatibility or other means, that permit immediate decryption by an authorized party without the knowledge or cooperation of the person using such encryption product. But notice that the ``products'' that are described here are actually software, are computer programs. (I suppose that some products could be physical devices with the programs hard-wired or in firmware, and to the extent that there are such devices the following analysis may not be applicable.) Now, although it is possible that Judge Freeh and Senator Feinstein are not aware of the fact, computer programs are written and published, and they certainly are not ``manufactured'' in any accepted meaning of that word, and their writing and publication is---as Judge Patel just held once again---protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution like any other writing or publication. It may, as I said, be possible under the Constitution to regulate the use of cryptographic software, but to forbid the publication (distribution, sale, or import) of software because its content is unpleasing to the government is a blatant violation of the First Amendment. Yet the draftsmen of the Bill do not purport to regulate the use of cryptographic software, they only purport to forbid its publication. Which I find strange. What I also find strange is that the ardent opponents of the CDA do not seem much disturbed by such a proposed violation of the First Amendment, or by the present constitutional violations embodied in the ``export'' regulations on encrption software that are being challenged in the _Bernstein_ and _Junger_ cases. Somehow those who care about the right of programmers to express their ideas and to publish the software that they write have failed miserably in explaining to the public, including those organizations that have traditionally been concerned with protecting civil liberties, that programs are written and published like any other text. Part of the problem may be that those who publish software commercially would rather be thought of---and regulated as---manufacturers. The last thing that they want is for people to start claiming a first amendment right to read their programms and to copy the ideas, or criticize the expression of the ideas, that are buried there. To the software moguls ``free speech'' must sound an awful lot like ``free software''. And, however distasteful they may find the proposed legislation, it at least has the virtue of making it illegal to import or distribute Linux. And the nice thing about regulations of the sort proposed is that they raise insurmountable barriers for any competitor who hopes to enter the market place for computer software. Another reason that there may not be so much concern among traditional civil libertarians about the First Amendment implications of this proposed crypto legislation or of the export regulations on encryption software is that---as hard as it may be for the denizens of this list to comprehend---they are simply not interested in cryptography. But the constitutional issues raised by the proposed bill and the export regulations on cryptographic software implicate all software, not just encryption software. For whatever else it may be, all software is functional, and the government's argument comes down to the claim that they can censor software because it is functional and that ``functionality'' is not protected by the First Amendment. Thus, according to the arguments that have been made by the President himself, it would be perfectly constitutional for the government, in order to encourage efficiency and interoperability, to forbid the publication of any software that does not comply with the Windows 95 ``standard''. Here is what President Clinton had to say when he transferred the regulation of cryptographic software from the Department of State to the Department of Commerce: Because the export of encryption software, like the export of other encryption products described in this section, must be controlled because of such software's functional capacity, rather than because of any possible informational value of such software, such software shall not be considered or treated as ``technology,'' as that term is defined in section 16 of the EAA (50 U.S.C. App. 2415) and in the EAR (61 Fed. Reg. 12714, March 25, 1996)[.] Don't you find that rather frightening? -- Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: http://samsara.law.cwru.edu NOTE: email@example.com no longer exists --------------------------------------------------------------------------