Re: Ex Underground

Harvey Newstrom (
Tue, 10 Mar 1998 09:36:11 -0500

Michael Lorrey wrote:
> since the past
> few years millions, if not billions of email messages have been sent across
> the US, and across our internaitonal borders which contained the
> RC4-3lines-PERL encryption algorythm. That they have not prosecuted one person
> who engaged in this mass act of civil disobedience is a significant precedent
> against their use of public mail list messages as evidence of conspiracy.

They won't go after a single breach, since the damage is already done.
It is the mass delivery systems that they would go after. Look at the
legal battles over PGP and ask Mr. Zimmerman if the Government lets
minor breaches go unnoticed. In his case, I don't think he broke any
laws, but the Government still tried to suppress him.

Another thing to remember is that such cases are sometimes publicized by
the defendant for publicity purposes. The Government rarely
acknowledges such security enforcement, unless forced to do so. They
usually view the details of the security risk, its detection and its
resolution as also security matters to be kept quiet.

When I tracked down hackers for Government sites (in a former
incarnation), most of the persons tracked were not dealt with through
"normal" channels. Because of the classified status of certain
projects, the police and local governments could not be informed of the
event or its investigation. Many of the activities were performed
outside (or above?) the law. This is all authorized by various
Government Agencies and congressional acts. The result is that various
secret groups with police powers are formed that act independently of
known police and legal procedures.

I like to tell people that I enjoy watching the X-files because it is so
realistic of Government process as I have seen it.

Harvey Newstrom <>
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