[Cryptography] "How Long Will Unbreakable Commercial Encryption Last?"

Jerry Leichter leichter at lrw.com
Sun Sep 22 07:19:43 EDT 2019

>> The article is by Stewart Baker, who's been involved in this debate for a very long time.
> It's certainly worth reading but I wouldn't take it at face value.
> Baker was a big fan of the Clipper chip (see
> https://www.wired.com/1994/06/nsa-clipper/) and I don't get the
> impression that his positions have changed much in the subsequent 25
> years.
> Look at the last few paragraphs of the piece, where he tries to
> position end-to-end encryption against content moderation....
I'm not sure what you mean by taking it at face value.  I think it's a very accurate portrayal of the arguments and moves that are now emerging in the crypto debates. "Scare 'em with horror stories of criminals and terrorists" doesn't seem to be working here in the US - the FBI and a few noted local prosecutors have been trying for years.  So ... two new attacks:  Outflank US protections by starting overseas; and argue that weakened crypto is necessary to protect us from all the "bad" stuff on the Internet.  The two approaches actually support each other well, since the problem of "bad" stuff is viewed much more seriously in a number of other countries.

It also doesn't hurt to present an image of inevitability to discourage the opposition.

Know thy enemy!
                                                        -- Jerry

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