[Cryptography] Cryptography, backdoors and the Second Amendment

Alfie John alfiej at fastmail.fm
Thu Oct 9 19:36:29 EDT 2014

After the Apple encryption announcement, we had the usual pundits bring
up the Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse [1]:

  "Attorney General Eric Holder, the US top law enforcement official,
  said it is "worrisome" that tech companies are providing default
  encryption on consumer electronics. Locking the authorities out of
  being able to physically access the contents of devices puts children
  at risk, he said.


  Holder said he wants a backdoor to defeat encryption. He urged the
  tech sector "to work with us to ensure that law enforcement retains
  the ability, with court-authorization, to lawfully obtain information
  in the course of an investigation, such as catching kidnappers and
  sexual predators."

After reading Keybase cofounder Chris Coyne's response to the backdoor
nonsense, it got me thinking about cryptography and the Second

  "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free
  state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be

As the US State Department classifies cryptography as a munition,
shouldn't the use of cryptography be protected under the 2nd Amendment?
If so, as the NSA continues its concerted effort to cripple encryption
by providers [3] [4], shouldn't this be seen as the equivalent of the
Department of Justice colluding with Smith & Wesson to manufacture guns
that don't shoot straight and bullets that don't fire?


[2] https://keybase.io/blog/2014-10-08/the-horror-of-a-secure-golden-key
[4] http://www.mail-archive.com/cryptography@metzdowd.com/msg12325.html

  Alfie John
  alfiej at fastmail.fm

More information about the cryptography mailing list