Re: CryptoBill: Is Big Brother Finally arriving?

Darrell Parfitt (
Mon, 22 Sep 1997 15:43:28 -0400 (EDT)

On Fri, 19 Sep 1997, Paul Hughes wrote:

> Sooo... what does everybody think of the latest crypto bill passing
> its way thru congress? My felling is, despite key-recovery's ultimate
> unworkability, this still starts a chilling precedent. If they pass
> the bill, congress will allocate 100's of millions of dollars to law
> enforcemnt to make it happen. In the end it may not work, but since
> millions have already been spent, efforts will continue by the
> government to eliminate privacy throgh even more draconian means. I'm
> no expert on crypto so I'm just guessing, and feeling a little
> paranoid.
> Do we have anything to worry about? Will privacy only be achievable
> by the techno-savvy and financially wealthy, or not?
> Any hope? I need some cheering up.
> Paul

The government by and large isn't too keen on cryptography. They
usually talk about it in terms of law enforcement, but there is really
something else on their minds. A number of people involved in
cryptography, especially those programming the software, loudly and
publicly state that their goal is to build a conduit for financial
transaction that cannot be monitored by the government and therefore
cannot be taxed. I expect most people like the idea of not paying taxes
at least on a superficial level (although it is nice that other people pay
taxes to pay for the roads I drive on), we cannot expect the government to
wholeheartedly agree with this assault on its already red bottom line.
There are methods by which good privacy maintained and still allow
taxation, through some mediator or third-party cryptography key system,
and there are a few advocates for such a system, but by and large
cryptographers stick to their libertarian guns and dream of Monaco. Until
the climate changes, I don't expect the government to smile on

Darrell Parfitt