FBI calls for mandatory key escrow; Denning on export ctrls

Jay R. Ashworth jra at scfn.thpl.lib.fl.us
Thu Sep 4 14:37:51 UTC 1997

On Thu, Sep 04, 1997 at 09:23:49AM -0400, Selina F. Priestley wrote:
> Let's turn this into a useful conversation:  If we do not believe that getting
> a backdoor to our keys is a useful way to insure security on the network, maybe
> isn't even addressing the root issues, then

Nope, it's not.  "Ensuring security" implies making certain that _no
one_ can get copies of the keys; the entire thesis is shot down by

> What *are* the real issues with security on the network?  How should we work to 
> address these issues, both at the network and application layers?  How will this
> solve the 'child porn problem'?  What are the barriers involved in any proposed 
> solutions?

The real issue _here_ is that the government _does not want_ us to
operate 'secure' networks... because then _they_ can't look at the
traffic.  (CALEA notwithstanding)  Oh, and BTW: in light of CALEA, why
do they _care_ if they can crack the code?  We're required to help them
tap the cleartext anyway... (at least, for _network imposed_ encryption).

> How can we trace criminals/spam artists/hackers easily and hand them over to
> the feds w/o handing over our rights as well?  

Short answer: we can't.

> If we don't have any answers to these questions, and plans for getting there,
> then we might as well quit our bitching.

As Clancy once put it: you can be a policeman of a soldier... but not

Are we network operators, or cops?

I think we've probably reached the end of the "useful operational
content" in this thread... unless anyone has a "this is what _we_ did"

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                                                jra at baylink.com
Member of the Technical Staff             Unsolicited Commercial Emailers Sued
The Suncoast Freenet      "People propose, science studies, technology
Tampa Bay, Florida          conforms."  -- Dr. Don Norman      +1 813 790 7592

More information about the NANOG mailing list