Re: Transparent society?: Feds raid hobby vendors

From: Rik van Riel (
Date: Thu Jan 13 2000 - 08:00:31 MST

On Thu, 13 Jan 2000, crowboy wrote:
> While sparking the glass pipe, Harvey Newstrom at
> wrote:
> > They were charged with wiretapping. I don't think the cameras were at
> > issue. The equipment to listen in on cell phone calls is at issue.
> if the government can do it to me, i should be able to do it back.
> going along with the "transparent society" theory, such a society
> only works if the glass is clear from both sides.

Indeed. As long as the government outlaws strong crypto[1] so
that phones can be tapped more easily, they shouldn't be surprised
that phones _are_ easily tappable. Outlawing the listening devices
for the phone calls will make sure that only criminals (both within
and outside the government) can tap phone calls...

Cracking down on Joe Random Hacker is _not_ going to influence
phone tapping at all, but only serves as a pretense to the
general public that the government is interested in privacy.

<plug mode=shameless>

It's comparable to what the movie industry is trying to do to
the consumer with DVD region coding and crypto. For the unaware,
`region coding' is marking a disk with a region code "This disk
may only be played in North America" and enforcing that limitation
in hardware or software -- players that obey the region code are
illegal in New Zealand and rare in Europe because they infringe on
consumers' rights...

As for the encryption, officially it is meant to stop piracy, but
large-scale DVD piracy (where most of the pirated copies come from)
is using DVD mastering equipment which simply bitcopies the disk.

What encryption _does_ stop is `fair use' copies, which consumers
are entitled to make (both by law and by the `fair use' clause in
the Berne Convention on Copyright), forcing consumers to spend more
money than they'd have to or (illegally) limiting them in their
opportunities to use the product they bought!

Visit and help this campaign, if only to
make sure that this affair won't set the precedent that businesses
can overturn our legal rights[2]!


[1] Yeah, not officially, but for all practical purposes
    there's quite a crackdown on all things cryptology.
[2] Which is what the movie industry is doing now, the excuse
    being that they cannot face competition with themselves!

The Internet is not a network of computers. It is a network
of people. That is its real strength.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:02:15 MDT