Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3242 mails)

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Re: OT:[SLE] US Congress already discussing bans on strong crypto (fwd)
  • From: "Steven T. Hatton" <hattons@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 00:02:57 -0400
  • Message-id: <200109141341.IAA68299555@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thursday 13 September 2001 19:47, Linux - User wrote:
> >http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,46816,00.html

> bye
>
> --ed

Thanks for the pointer to the article. I find the partisin tone taken by the
author to be rather unfortunate. I cannot say too much on this subject, but
I do have some thoughts and observations. First off, let me say I spent 5 of
the past 6 years of my life directly supporting the Pentagon. It was not
uncommon for me to meet with people there. Even more commonly, I prepared
resources for dear friends who regularly visited the Pentagon. When I heard
what had happened I was truly devastated. The faces of all the different
people I've worked with over there have been flashing through my head ever
since. These are not just, or even primarily, conservative Euro-American
males. There are people from all over the world working there. There are
hispanic housekeepers who probably came to the US under questionable
circumstances, but have been able to demonstrate the kind of trustworthiness
required to get a security clearance. There are Black security guards who
probably spent their youth committing petty crimes in DC, but came to realize
that honesty and integrity would get them farther in life. There are
Vietnamese people who fled Saigon when it fell, and their families who
followed them when they could. There are military personell of all races,
religions, genders, ages, and backgrounds who worked hard and demonstrated
the kind of integrity which is awarded by such assignments as Pentagon duty.
Many enlisted personnel in the US military come from the poorer communities
of our country. Their achievements stand as a symbol of hope for the
communities they represent, and as a mark of pride and honor for those
communities. Ironically, one of the larger ethnic communities in the
Northern Virginia area surrounding the Pentagon is Middle Eastern, Islamic.
The attacks on the 11th were not attacks against America, or Americans. They
were attacks against Tokyo, Shanghai, Jakarta, and everywhere else people
live and work in highly congested areas, and in large buildings. Those were
not crimes against Americans, they were crimes against humanity!

Now with that being said, I really don't see how the proposed restrictions
could be effectively enforced. Not too long ago there were restrictions
against the export of "strong" encryption software from the US. One could,
however, aquire the same strength encryption software for free from other
parts of the world by downloading it off the internet. Anybody who is
reasonably sophisticated will be able to produce their own encryption
software which does not possess the "back-door" proposed. Beyond that, I
don't feel I can comment.

On a more general note. It is a sad fact that the behavior of a few
individuals in the world can lead to the kinds of restrictions proposed on
all of us. The acts of the terrorist criminals who perpetrate crimes such as
we are discussing reduce the liberty and freedom of all of us. They also
serve to strengthen the very forces they claim to oppose. The more
restrictions we have placed on our freedoms in the name of protection, the
more opportunity there is for the abuse of the laws and tools developed to
enforce the restrictions.


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