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

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Sat Sep 15 2001 - 02:16:27 MDT

On Fri, Sep 14, 2001 at 10:32:47PM -0700, J. R. Molloy wrote:
> From: "Anders Sandberg" <>
> > 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.
> OIC, in that case what you wrote earlier, to wit: "Note that we now are
> essentially back to
> square one with the clipper chip, but now with the added feature of
> global prohibitions and a likely strong support from the public and
> politicians" no longer holds. So now we have not much to worry about. Okey
> dokey artichokey. (Wish you'd settle on a single position though.)

Sorry for being unclear. What I meant is that we now have to re-do the
process of stopping Clipper again. This time it is likely an even
nastier version of the Clipper proposal, supported by the current mood
but also hampered by its last defeat.

> > 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.
> No need to "lie about your intentions" -- just let them know that you
> represent the will of a huge proportion of the general public (which is true).

Aha, so do you think the ACLU or EFF would be allowed to sit in on the
relevant boards? They are already well-known and have well-known views.
> > Remember, in our kind
> > of society you actually have to give reasons for your actions when you
> > do them as part of an administration.
> Unless, of course, you're the President. hehehe

Joking aside, what makes the US a democracy and not a dictatorship is
that you actually hold your president accountable and demand that he
justifies his major decisions. If he declares war on San Marino "because
I say so" I doubt he will remain in office.
> > 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!).
> I think you're right about the messiness of the undertaking, and thankfully
> there are many people who relish the opportunity to get their hands into this
> messy project.

Yes, we need them. Many have complained that we on this list never do
anything, but that is not really true: those who act do it outside the
list, getting their hands dirty and not having the time to constantly
comment on it. Hmm, methinks I post too much :-)

> As for you're aptitude for being a nasty dictator, thanks for
> the warning, but it's my experience that folks who indulge in the kind of
> self-deprecating comments you've made are usually quite even-handed and fair
> in their administration of technological change.

Thanks, but you should see me play Alpha Centauri...

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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:47 MDT