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Thread: The Battle to Control Encryption

  1. #1
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    Aug 2002

    The Battle to Control Encryption

    One has to wonder what cause could unite such diverse groups as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Rifle Association (NRA) and conservative Christian group the Eagle Forum. They are all lending their support and backing to a bill currently making its way through the House of Representatives. The Security and Freedom through Encryption Act (a.k.a SAFE), championed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va, is on a collision course with a different encryption bill being backed by the FBI and the Whitehouse known as the Secure Public Networks Act. The Secure Public Networks Act would require that the master key to any encrypted communication be placed in a "vault" so to speak where the government or law enforcement can get to it if need be. Essentially, the government doesn't want you to be able to encrypt things so that they can't read it.

    For more info see this MSNBC.com article: Odd Coalition Rallies for Encryption Bill

  2. #2
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
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    So I think I'd rather be SAFE than SORRIER

    (SORRIER: So Our Representatives Respect Individual's Encryption Rights)

    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2003
    What else is the government going to take from us? I can see their point of view but if someone doesn't want the government to see something they will make sure the government doesn't see it.

    If this plan goes into affect all a person has to do is get the "password file" and think about how much damage they could do?


    I don't like the idea very much!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2003
    Nothing like taking away more of our freedoms. It is seeming more like "Land of the free, home of the slaves." The problem is that the government is just scared of everything. What they are doing is not a solution to the problem. I would think that a 10 year old kid could figure that out.

    Not only that, but nothing like creating a nice big repository of encryption keys. I bet that wouldn't be a target or anything. On top of all of this crap, who is watching our government? I feel that our government needs to take a different approach to how they are handling problems.

    I am a ex-military myself and I know that the times I was deployed overseas fighting for my country I was not fighting so that our wonderful little country could take away our freedoms. This is something I feel very strongly about. I think that everyone should let their elected representatives know how they feel about this crap. It is stupid. Sorry I am done voicing my opinion now........
    Sysmin Sys73m47ic
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  5. #5
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Sep 2001
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    I doubt they (the Secure Public Networks Act) will be successful with this. Given their "wonderful" success with Clipper, there is a precendent in place that the government shouldn't have this kind of absolute control. Granted the American public and government is more "paranoid" about "terrorist" activities, I have strong doubts that the courts will allow for infringements on individual rights. Even if it becomes law, the first court case with it will probably strike it down...
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  6. #6
    [sarcasm] Good thing our Goverment supports privacy. [/sarcasm] WTFing HELL!!!! I am 16 and by the time I am 18, I wont even be able to vote. Our country is going to hell, I should move to Canada :-/. Seriously, first you cant export encryption technology, ok. Now they want to be able to read everything? Besides, I didn't think RSA would have a key, so short of having a mainframe full of everybodies induvidual key.... As sysmin770 stated, not like it's a juicy target, not like it would contain the entire countries private keys.... Oh wait, it would. And with Goverment security sucking much ass, I might even be able to pull it off, but probably not. That may have been a bit immature, but if this passes our country has bigger issues than terrorists. And, if this is done because of terrorists they have accomplished exactly what they wanted, to ruin our way of life. Bush said, "They[terrorists] will not ruin our way of life." He has lied most blatantly and changed our country in ways that are ruining what made this country special.

    -Jessus is coming!!! Quick, everybody look busy!!!-

  7. #7
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    Interesting, as the UK government (who seem to be increasingly in favour of a police state), introduced similar powers in 2000 with their RIP act.
    Important note here that this was before 9 11.

    However, in practice, it doesn't seem to be fully implemented.
    If you wish to read the rather alarming legislation, which is now part of UK law, look at:

    This is almost certainly a direct contravention of EU law, which supersedes UK law in these matters.

    To quote from a BBC news report at the time (which also mentions Echelon):


    "However, British citizens should be aware that the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act gives law enforcement agencies the right to demand decryption keys from anyone, and it imposes prison sentences on those that refuse to hand them over.

    The RIP Act also forbids people, under threat of prison, from telling anyone that they have been asked to hand over their key. In at least two reports legal experts have condemned these decryption powers as a breach of human rights. "

    The Echelon quote was:

    "This week saw the publication of a long-awaited European Commission report on the Echelon electronic eavesdropping network.

    The report confirmed the existence of the network, which is operated by intelligence services in US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and revealed that it had the ability to routinely tap phone calls and faxes as well as almost any type of net-based communication.

    The report recommended that citizens and businesses routinely use encryption technologies to scramble electronic messages to ensure that if Echelon captures them it will be unable to decipher them."

  8. #8
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    Maybe a conspiracy theory

    It all reminds me of Orwell's 1984.

    Goverments, not just the US, but all goverments do things in the names of some cause. Wether it be safety, security, or eliminating a certain race of people, all goverments make the rules that they do for some sort of ideal that they are trying to support. Will the goverment someday have a key for all encrypted communications, probably. The fact though that they are trying to get all peoples to see the reason for their cause is their ultimate mistake. Cause there will always be some groups that don't agree just for the sake of disagrement.

    Someday the U.S.A. will be no more, and maybe then a goverment will take its place that is focused on personal freedoms as it cause, much the way USA orignally did to Britan in the American Revolution. The whole process will start anew. The goverment will slowly take away more freedoms for the cause of security untill the people feel repressed and renew the cycle.

    Am I unhappy that freedoms are being taken away, yes I most certainly am. But I know there is nothing I can do to stop it, there is just not enough public interest to rally any major suport to stop it. So untill there is, which may or may not happen in my life time, I enjoy life.

    A wise man once said, "Boy your going to get ****ed, you might as well bend over and get it over with. Struggling is just going to make it that much more painfull."

    Well I don't really know if he was wise, but I liked him.

    Just my thoughts


  9. #9
    A wise man once said, "Boy your going to get ****ed, you might as well bend over and get it over with. Struggling is just going to make it that much more painfull."

    Well I don't really know if he was wise, but I liked him.
    Lol. Just as a question, am I like a thread killer? When I post, threads seem to whither and die, what am I doing wrong?

  10. #10
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    Beverwijk Netherlands


    Lucky me, I live in a country where encryption is allowed in all forms !!

    Lucky me, I have a job where https secured webmail is allowed !!

    Lucky me, I can have all the filthy little secrets I want !!

    This is starting to get scary.. I'm on one line with the NRA on this one !!

    A safe with all the master key's.. lol lmfao roflmao
    Let's go back in time !!
    Fort Knox !!

    And who will be the master of the keys ?? (motk in cinema's 2030)

    Now for a little Q and A:

    Who said this, when and at what occasion:
    "An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation. We must take steps to insure our domestic security and protect our homeland. "

    ready for it ??

    It was Adolph Hitler in 1922 celebrating the creation of the Gestapo (secret police)

    Odd how much it sounds like G.W. Bush today. (well the last two years !!)
    ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.
    When in Russia, pet a PETSCII.

    Get your ass over to SLAYRadio the best station for C64 Remixes !

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