[Cryptography] $750k Fine for exporting crypto

Jerry Leichter leichter at lrw.com
Sat Nov 8 06:10:30 EST 2014

On Nov 7, 2014, at 11:41 PM, Henry Baker <hbaker1 at pipeline.com> wrote:
> Voters should always keep in mind that the same laws that they
> felt so good about when "their" guy/gal was in office, will
> also be available when the other party's guy/gal gets into that
> same office.  In particular, how would the electorate feel
> about giving the current NSA/FBI/DHS powers to Richard Nixon &
> his cronies?
I'm troubled comparison.  Nixon et al targeted political foes - an extension of a long history of nasty political tricks techniques engaged in by hard-ball politicians since ... forever.  Illegal, pushing beyond the boundaries - but a fight limited to inner circles.

What we are seeing today is unprecedented in American history:  Wholesale monitoring of entire populations, "just in case" the information might be "needed" later.  Saying "beware, someone evil like Nixon could use this stuff" *misses the point*:  It's bad *even if never abused*.  Its mere *existence* is abuse, no matter who controls it.  If the system were under the control of a saintly administration consisting of nothing but good actors, and there were a magic button that would be pressed just before they handed over the reigns to someone not so saintly that magically erased all the stored information and destroyed the information-gathering systems ... it would *still* be wrong.

                                                        -- Jerry

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