Re: Sen. Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire) called for a global prohibition on encryption

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Fri Sep 14 2001 - 14:49:02 MDT

On Fri, Sep 14, 2001 at 12:17:39PM -0700, J. R. Molloy wrote:
> From: "Anders Sandberg" <>
> > I consider that the most extropic way of handling these technologies.
> Me too. But since "we now are essentially back to square one with the clipper
> chip," the most extropic alternative available to us (and our allies) _now_ is
> to infiltrate that "select controlling group" that you mentioned, because it
> is very unlikely that we'll be able to persuade politicians to give clipper
> chips equivalent user control to that enjoyed by owners of automobiles. So, if
> you and Max More were on that "select controlling group" (and a controlling
> group of some sort will almost certainly emerge to fill the vacuum of power),
> why then I'd feel we're moving in the correct direction. Of course, "the ideal
> controller is nobody" -- but you know that is not going to happen.

You are falling into a deterministic trap here: since the idea is making
rounds again you believe it will become a bill, that bill is going to
get passed and implemented. But remember that the clipper chip was
*crushed*. The fact that this idea was defeated once means that it is
actually going to have a harder time today than it would if it was an
entirely new concept with a clear background. Sure, it will get a lot of
help from the current mood, but it is not an irresistible power.

Although my ambitious side does like the idea of me and Max being part
of the controlling group - in this case I guess that would be NIST, NSA
or some high level court - "infiltrating" them is of course a total pipe
dream. You won't get a chance to control a technology if you lie about
your intentions to the surrounding administration. Remember, in our kind
of society you actually have to give reasons for your actions when you
do them as part of an administration.

A far more realistic approach to stop this technology is to raise hell
about it - explain to proponents why it won't work and why it will have
nasty side effects, get the non-initiated to understand what is wrong
with it and why it should not be supported. Convince other nations to
not accept the standard. Develop other technologies that makes even the
introduction of the technology irrelevant. If it is passed, then work
against the laws, even to the point of civil disobedience.

Notice that this is messy, real world things that have to be done. There
is no way of achiving it by wishing for the technology to be in wise
hands (and mine definitely aren't; I think I could make a fairly nasty
dictator a la Trevor Goodchild if I got the chance - don't let me!).

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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