Patrice Riemens on Mon, 2 Aug 1999 23:44:38 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> FW: US Urges Ban of Internet Crypto (fwd)

----- Forwarded message from felipe rodriquez -----

>From Thu Jul 29 11:55:07 1999
From: "felipe rodriquez" <>

>From  Thu Jul 29 02:54:16 1999
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 21:17:08 -0400
From: John Young <>
Subject: US Urges Ban of Internet Crypto

The Austrian journal Telepolis today published a letter from Janet Reno to
the German Justice Minister urging a ban of crypto products on the
Internet. We've made a translation of the report which includes Reno's

Here's an excerpt of Reno's letter:

"Much work remains to be done. In particular, I believe we must soon
address the risks posed by electronic distribution of encryption software.
Although the Wassenaar Nations have now reached agreement to control the
distribution of mass market encryption software of certain cryptographic
strength, some Wassenaar Nations continue not to control encryption
software that is distributed over the Internet, either because the
software is in the "public domain" or because those Nations do not control
distribution of intangible items. While I recognize that this issue is
controversial, unless we address this situation, use of the Internet to
distribute encryption products will render Wassenaar's controls


>From  Thu Jul 29 04:32:21 1999
To: John Young <>
Subject: Re: US Urges Ban of Internet Crypto 
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 12:10:02 -0400
From: Dan Geer <>
X-UIDL: 8d8b16c2bd57bd6435fd1f841dace06d

[Forwarded because no one has brought up this notion in a while. My
problem with it is that most people don't seem to like the 2nd amendment
any more so this can hardly help to popularize the cause. My feeling is
that the 4th and 5th amendments have more potential protection in them.

John, et al.,

In a moment of logic, as if that mattered,

   By the declaration of the state, cryptographic capacity is a weapon, and
   By the facts of use, cryptographic capacity is a personal weapon, and
   The (US) Second Amendment denies the (US) federal government the
   authority to restrict personal weapons,
   The right to bear crypto is a (US) constitutional right.

Of course, logic has nothing to do with it because the very
definition of politics is the art of making decisions based
on the manipulation of emotion, but I am, whether by choice
or by genotype, a man of logic and not of emotion, though I
am pissed off...



>From  Thu Jul 29 13:52:34 1999
X-Authentication-Warning: Host localhost [] didn't use
HELO protocol
To: "William H. Geiger III" <>
Cc: John Young <>,,
Subject: Re: US Urges Ban of Internet Crypto 
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 17:52:04 -0700
From: John Gilmore <>
X-UIDL: 28ca66c28afe8857c21ea59b66698020

> >use of the Internet to distribute encryption products 
> >will render Wassenaar's controls immaterial."
> The bitch is getting a clue. :)

No, that's not it.

  *  Wassenaar was never intended to control civilian crypto.
  *  Wassenaar never did control civilian crypto.
  *  Therefore nothing "rendered wassenaar's controls immaterial",
     since they didn't exist in the first place.  (see footnote*)
  *  However, the US is attempting to deliberately and cynically 
     use that weapons control regime to control citizens worldwide
     who are exercising their civil rights. 
  *  Which lends further credence to the idea that 'the bitch' is
     a traitor to her own country's Constitution as well as a
     significant threat to the human rights of everyone on earth.

If Ms. Reno had a clue, she'd fire Louis Freeh, publish PGP and
CryptoMozilla on the DoJ web site, prevent crimes instead of fighting
crimes, and advocate civil rights instead of destroying civil rights.

Every other country that has seriously studied the crypto issue has
come to this conclusion, unless it already treated its citizens like
dirt, or its heart was in a storage locker owned by the US Government.

Why do other countries' governments work so much better on this issue
than our own goverment?  Does it have anything to do with a massive
secret agency, unaccountable to the public, whose ox is being gored?
Can you spell "corruption", kiddies?


* footnote: Actually, Wassenaar used to control military crypto gear.
To the extent that commercial, civilian crypto software is now a
functional replacement for controlled military crypto gear,
despite the fact that it has never been designed for military use,
perhaps Wassenaar's controls *have* been rendered immaterial.  But the
cure is not to deny civilians the freedom to invent and communicate,
the cure is to adapt one's self to the new world, as we have adapted
to thousands of other technology-based changes including today's
capability for widespread interception.

----- End of forwarded message from felipe rodriquez -----

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