FBI calls for mandatory key escrow; Denning on export ctrls

david at sparks.net david at sparks.net
Fri Sep 5 16:43:14 UTC 1997

On Wed, 3 Sep 1997, Charles Sprickman wrote:

> > MR. FREEH:
> > We work, as you know, particularly in the
> > pedophile cases, with on-line services who give us,
> For God's sake, what is the obsession with pedophiles??  How many
> pedophiles pgp encode their porn??

(I was going to ignore this thread too, as it's way off charter, but I
can't resist this one)

Isn't it obvious?  Seems so to me, certainly is if you've followed the gun
control debates of the years.

In order to prevent widespread use of encryption, which the US government,
as well as virtually all governments, are depserate to do, you have to
garner some support from the voters.

If you point out how it (strong encryption) helps businesses expand on the
Internet and helps them buy stuff on the net they'll never want to ban it.

If, on the other hand, you point out all the "evil" uses of it, build a
straw man case of it being used by terrorists, drug lords, pedophiles, tax
evaders, satan worshippers, etc, then you garner support.

After all, who will stand up to their congressman for the right of
pedophiles to encrypt their wicked graphics?  Of terrorists to plot their
evil plots in secret?

So we end up with law enforcement and spook agencies decrying the
pedophiles and wanting to "maintain the status quo" of being able to tap
anyone's phone line.  And you get nonsense statements to give voters warm
fuzzies, like "airbags in a car". 

> What a sad state.


> I would have at least been amused by an original argument, but to pull out
> the pedophile trump-card...  Someone's desperate.

You have to pull out the pedophile card, because the drug-lord key phrase
has been so overused for the last decade that it doesn't elicit the
desired response anymore.

And I agree about the desperation.

--- David Miller

		It's *amazing* what one can accomplish when 
		    one doesn't know what one can't do!

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