Florian Weimer <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> I share your general concern, but it's not the ID cards which worry
> me.  After all, forgeable passports are only a very, very weak form of
> defense in an age of non-invasive biometric applications which operate
> in real-time.  (I know, we aren't quite there yet, but we're getting
> close.)
> My concern is that our government is building infrastructure for
> monitoring extremist citizens, trying very hard to interdict all
> extremist propaganda.  The rationale behind that is the assumption
> that most Germans are still latent nazis.  (I'm not sure if this is
> really the case, but it seems that anti-democratic feelings are rather
> widespread.)  Unfortunately, this monitoring infrastructure covers the
> whole population by design, and in case of a coup d'etat, it can be
> easily abused by the perpetrators to make sure that they stay in
> power.  In other words, this approach is not fail-safe.  I find it
> rather unsettling that our politicians seem to be completely unaware
> of this risk.

I believe John Gilmore once made a pithy comment about this
danger. Sadly I can't find the original quote, but it was more or less
something like this: if you give the government all the tools a
dictatorship would need to maintain control of the citizenry, all that
stands between you and a dictatorship is a change in attitude by the
people in power.

Another thing he or someone else once said went something like this:
you want to design your system of laws such that, with your worst
enemy in power, you will have no more to fear than if your best friend
is in power. This is because, someday, your worst enemy may very well
be in power.

If anyone remembers or can find the originals of these statements, I'd
appreciate it.


The Cryptography Mailing List
Unsubscribe by sending "unsubscribe cryptography" to [EMAIL PROTECTED]

Reply via email to