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Read How to keep Uncle Sam out of your COMPUTER




Dear Media, the same folks who brought you the gun control laws you love so
much, are now after YOU!

NOW will believe that the pro 2nd Amendment people are NOT paranoid?

The following was posted on a BBS:

Quote:

This thread is copied from "sci.crypt" on Usenet.   -Bruce

>From: schuman@sgi.com (Aaron Schuman)
Newsgroups: sci.crypt
Subject: Congress to order crypto trapdoors?
Date: 11 Apr 91 23:30:28 GMT
Organization: Silicon Graphics 415-335-1901
Lines: 83

The United States Senate is considering a bill that would require
manufacturers of cryptographic equipment to introduce a trap door, and
to make that trap door accessible to law enforcement officials.

If you feel, as I do, that the risk of abuse far outweighs the potential
benefits, please write to Senators Joseph Biden and Dennis DeConcini,
and to the Senators that represent your state, asking that they propose
a friendly amendment to their bill removing this requirement.

I don't have exact addresses for Senators Biden and DeConcini, and I
hope someone will post them here, but the Washington DC post office can
deliver letters addressed to

        Senator Joseph Biden            Senator Dennis DeConcini
        United States Senate    and     United States Senate
        Washington, DC                  Washington, DC


RISKS-LIST: RISKS-FORUM Digest  Wednesday 10 April 1991  Volume 11 : Issue 43

------------------------------

Date:  Wed, 10 Apr 91 17:23 EDT
>From: WHMurray@DOCKMASTER.NCSC.MIL
Subject:  U.S. Senate 266, Section 2201 (cryptographics)

Senate 266 introduced by Mr. Biden (for himself and Mr. DeConcini)
contains the following section:

SEC. 2201. COOPERATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROVIDERS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT

It is the sense of Congress that providers of electronic communications
services and manufacturers of electronic communications service
equipment shall ensure that communications systems permit the government
to obtain the plain text contents of voice, data, and other
communications when appropriately authorized by law.

------------------------------

The referenced language requires that manufacturers build trap-doors
into all cryptographic equipment and that providers of cconfidential
channels reserve to themselves, their agents, and assigns the ability to
read all traffic.

Are there readers of this list that believe that it is possible for
manufacturers of crypto gear to include such a mechanism and also to
reserve its use to those "appropriately authorized by law" to employ it?

Are there readers of this list who believe that providers of electronic
communications services can reserve to themselves the ability to read
all the traffic and still keep the traffic "confidential" in any
meaningful sense?

Is there anybody out there who would buy crypto gear or confidential
services from vendors who were subject to such a law?

David Kahn asserts that the sovereign always attempts to reserve the use
of cryptography to himself.  Nonetheless, if this language were to be
enacted into law, it would represent a major departure.  An earlier
Senate went to great pains to assure itself that there were no trapdoors
in the DES.  Mr.  Biden and Mr.  DeConcini want to mandate them.  The
historical justification of such reservation has been "national
security;" just when that justification begins to wane, Mr.  Biden wants
to use "law enforcement." Both justifications rest upon appeals to fear.

In the United States the people, not the Congress, are sovereign; it
should not be illegal for the people to have access tto communications
that the government cannot read.  We should be free from unreasonable
search and seizure; we should be free from self-incrimination.  The
government already has powerful tools of investigation at its disposal;
it has demonstrated precious little restraint in their use.

Any assertion that all use of any such trap-doors would be only "when
appropriately authorized by law" is absurd on its face.  It is not
humanly possible to construct a mechanism that could meet that
requirement; any such mechanism would be subject to abuse.

I suggest that you begin to stock up on crypto gear while you can still
get it.  Watch the progress of this law carefully.  Begin to identify
vendors across the pond.

William Hugh Murray, Executive Consultant, Information System Security 21
Locust Avenue, Suite 2D, New Canaan, Connecticut 06840       203 966 4769


Article 3419 of sci.crypt:
>From: karn@epic.bellcore.com (Phil R. Karn)
Newsgroups: sci.crypt,alt.privacy
Subject: Re: Congress Mandates Backdoors
Date: 15 Apr 91 23:51:07 GMT
Organization: Packet Communications Research Group (Bellcore)
Lines: 261

Since I was looking for any excuse to procrastinate on my taxes this
past weekend, I composed this letter to Senators Biden and DeConcini.
--Phil



                     25-B Hillcrest Rd
                   Warren, NJ 07059-5304
                       April 13, 1991




Senator Dennis DeConcini
United States Senate
Washington, DC  20510

Dear Senator DeConcini:


Yesterday I read a most disturbing computer network  article
about   a  piece  of  legislation  you  are  proposing  that
apparently attempts to regulate the use of  cryptography  to
protect  the  secrecy  of private communications. I refer to
this excerpt:

     Senate 266 introduced by Mr. Biden (for himself and Mr.
     DeConcini) contains the following section:

     SEC. 2201. COOPERATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS  PROVIDERS
     WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT

     It is the sense of Congress  that  providers  of  elec-
     tronic  communications  services  and  manufacturers of
     electronic  communications  service   equipment   shall
     ensure  that  communications systems permit the govern-
     ment to obtain the plain text contents of voice,  data,
     and  other communications when appropriately authorized
     by law.

The author of the article continues:

     The referenced  language  requires  that  manufacturers
     build  trap-doors  into all cryptographic equipment and
     that providers  of  confidential  channels  reserve  to
     themselves,  their  agents,  and assigns the ability to
     read all traffic.

I would like to know if this is indeed the  intent  of  your
legislation.   If so, it will be the most futile exercise of
authority since King Canute set up his throne on the  beach,
ordered  the  sea  to withdraw and probably got his feet wet
for his trouble.

I would like the opportunity to explain.

First of all, this legislation will not serve its ostensible
purpose  (facilitating  a  legitimate  police  investigation
involving encrypted communications or  stored  data).  Quite



                       April 15, 1991





                           - 2 -


simply,  cryptography  exists;  it cannot be uninvented. And
with today's powerful,  inexpensive  and  readily  available
computer  technology, anyone - law-abiding citizen or crimi-
nal - can apply a little technical knowledge and  build  and
operate his own cryptographic communications system.

You see, with the right software, even the simplest personal
computer  becomes  an  excellent  cipher  machine  - and the
software is readily and widely available. I know of  perhaps
six  public-domain  programs  that do the National Bureau of
Standards' Data Encryption Standard (DES); I  wrote  one  of
them.  DES  software  is  also available in several publicly
available books and magazines and  from  several  commercial
suppliers.   Even  without  all this software, an interested
programmer can find the complete specifications for  DES  in
any of several dozen textbooks on cryptography - not to men-
tion the official Federal standards themselves.

And DES is not the only cryptographic algorithm available to
the public. Because of concerns about possible weaknesses in
the DES (including unproven allegations  that  the  National
Security  Agency  introduced a "trap door" into the design),
research into stronger  alternatives  has  been  brisk.  New
algorithms appear all the time, and they come from cryptolo-
gists all over the world. The NSA has abandoned its attempts
to control the publication of private cryptographic research
because it is clearly protected by the First Amendment.

It is precisely because computers are so easily turned  into
cipher  machines  that your reference to "providers of elec-
tronic communications services" is  so  pointless.  A  smart
criminal  won't  trust  anyone  with  his plain text that he
doesn't have to - especially not a  communications  provider
subject  to  subpoena.  He'll encrypt on an end-to-end basis
with his own computers, his own cryptographic  software  and
with  cryptographic keys known only to him (and protected by
his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination).  Com-
munications  service providers won't have the opportunity to
turn plain text over  to  law  enforcement  because  they'll
never see it.

You also refer to "manufacturers  of  electronic  communica-
tions  service equipment," which I assume means "manufactur-
ers of cryptographic hardware."  But this would  be  equally
ineffective:  no  criminal  would  use  a  ready-made cipher
machine with a "trap door" built into  it  when  he  can  so
easily  turn his own personal computer into a cipher machine
without a trap door, and at much lower  cost.  Indeed,  spe-
cialized  cryptographic hardware has only one real advantage
over cryptographic software running on general purpose  com-
puters:  the  hardware  is  generally more tamper-resistant.
This is usually important only in highly sensitive  applica-
tions  such  as  banking,  where  one does not want to trust
one's employees too much. It is irrelevant where  the  owner



                       April 15, 1991





                           - 3 -


and  user  of  the  computer,  the person being protected by
cryptography and the person who knows the key  are  all  the
same.

This brings me to the second fundamental flaw in  your  pro-
posed  legislation.  Even  if "trap doors" were installed in
cryptographic equipment of the type  used  by  banks  (among
others),  how  could  their  use be limited to persons "duly
authorized by law"? Experience has shown electronic  vandals
(popularly  known  as  "hackers"  or  "phone phreaks") to be
highly adept at discovering and exploiting  hidden  security
weaknesses in computer and communication systems. What is to
prevent  such  persons  from  discovering   and   exploiting
weaknesses  deliberately  introduced  in  response  to  your
legislation?

They certainly wouldn't remain secret for long. Every modern
cipher  is  designed  to rely entirely on the secrecy of the
key for its security.  The design of the cipher itself  must
be  assumed  to  be completely public, because eventually it
will be. (This philosophy is captured in a popular  computer
science saying: "Security through obscurity doesn't work.")

Indeed, what procedures could guarantee  that  "trap  doors"
would  not  be abused by law enforcement or other government
personnel not properly authorized by court order?  The  rise
of  computer technology has opened up many opportunities for
invasion of privacy and the abuse of government power. It is
only  fitting that the same technology in the hands of indi-
viduals can also put some real teeth into the guarantees  of
the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

The government is simply going to have to get  used  to  its
citizens using cryptography that it cannot break. The police
may have to give up on wiretaps and information seizures and
resort  to  the more traditional (and less invasive and less
easily abused) ways of conducting  investigations,  such  as
informants  and  grants  of immunity for testimony. They may
even have to give up entirely  on  enforcing  certain  laws,
e.g.,  those prohibiting the mere possession of information.
Perhaps the  government  can  then  redirect  its  resources
toward enforcing laws that make more sense.

A popular metaphor states that the computer is an  extension
of  the human mind. With cryptography, this metaphor becomes
reality in one important way - a user can make the  informa-
tion  stored  in a computer or transmitted over a phone line
just as private as the information in his own  mind.  And  I
wouldn't have it any other way in a free society.

Senator, I urge you to abandon this ill-advised proposal. At
best,  it  will  be ignored. At its worst, it would decrease
security for law-abiding citizens  while  doing  nothing  to
help bring clever criminals to justice.

Sincerely yours,

Philip R. Karn, Jr.


Article 3420 of sci.crypt:
>From: gwyn@smoke.brl.mil (Doug Gwyn)
Newsgroups: sci.crypt
Subject: Re: Senate Bill 266 would require trapdoors in encryption gear
Date: 16 Apr 91 03:05:59 GMT
Organization: U.S. Army Ballistic Research Laboratory, APG, MD.
Lines: 23

In article <17056@hoptoad.uucp> gnu@hoptoad.uucp (John Gilmore) writes:
>"If privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy"...

Absolutely -- this hits the nail right on the head.  Just as gun control
activists, who inspired the slogan on which the above was based, can
achieve at best the disarming of law-abiding citizens, leaving them no
defense against potential assault by those who ignore such laws, other
than to die or to break the law themselves.

The right to privacy unfortunately was not considered sufficiently
questionable by the framers of the US Constitution to require explicit
mention in the Constitution (as was done for the right to keep and bear
arms); it was among those rights that the 10th Amendment reserved to the
people.

I am all for catching genuine criminals, i.e.  those who injure others
deliberately.  However, I am not willing to have perfectly reasonable
activities on my part be declared "criminal" by the legal system as part
of misguided attempts to "do something" about crime.  Having recently
sat in on several court proceedings, I can attest to the fact that there
are a lot of fundamental problems with the entire US system of justice
that should be addressed if crime is truly to be controlled.

Article 3422 of sci.crypt:
>From: gwyn@smoke.brl.mil (Doug Gwyn)
Newsgroups: sci.crypt
Subject: Re: Congress Mandates Backdoors
Date: 16 Apr 91 02:54:47 GMT
Organization: U.S. Army Ballistic Research Laboratory, APG, MD.
Lines: 12

-COOPERATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROVIDERS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT
-It is the sense of Congress that providers of electronic
-communications services and manufacturers of electronic communications
-service equipment shall ensure that communications systems permit the
-government to obtain the plain text contents of voice, data, and other
-communications when appropriately authorized by law.

"Damn, I wish I were The Man!" (with apologies to Cindy Lee Berryhill).

With representatives like these, our remaining freedoms are not long
for the world.

Unquote




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