* Ian G <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> >So, why not always sign messages to a list that permits
> >signatures?
> It's hard to see the benefit, and it is easy to see the potential
> cost.  In a litiguous world, we are (slightly) better off not using
> messages that are going to haunt us in years to come.  As a
> principle, I'd never advise anyone to sign any message unless they
> could state what that meant.

Well, I for one value the spreading of cryptographic means higher
than what might happen due to some misguided lawyer. with all the
lost privacy due to so-called protection laws from all the
"evildoers" this has only strengthened my resolve. after all, the
lawyers are still there even if one doesn't use cryptographic means.

In my world there's just too much lobbyism involved not to take
action in the vital field of privacy. Most people using electronic
communications either believe that some occasional eavesdropping is
ok (for they have nothing to hide; an arguement solely given by the
state in some 1984 manner), or they don't grasp the extent of
eavesdropping possibilities, or they just don't bother. not bothering
is just equally bad as giving in to the state because if one remains
passive, it is not likely that one will change one's perception
easily switching to actively propagate one's ideals (because of a
certain receptiveness to state arguements). and nowadays it's hard
enough to change things even if one is actively involved.

> It could well be that this is a difference in view across the
> Atlantic.  It seems that many (continental) Europeans do not
> perceive a threat to themselves from things they write; whereas the
> English-centric world is more "NDA" obsessed.

I guess you mean Non-Disclosure Agreement by NDA. All those acronyms;
it's about time the AAAAA takes action.

I haven't really perceived it the way you describe, but I don't work
in an environment where such things could matter at all. I'm in the
scientific community (chemistry), and there limits of talk (if you
get the meaning) are described pretty well, and this only affects
some areas of competition.

Given that some individual or even organisation keeps track of its
employees' writings in/on public media, I barely see the benefits
apart from some cases where it comes to leaking info which is already
prohibited by some kind of Non-Disclosure Agreement. those exist here
too, but with all the transparency about it, one really has to be
utterly stupid to mess things up.

From what you write I get the impression that even the slightest hint
about even the slightest clue may cause one harm. In my opinion this
fuels fear, just like telling a teenager not to ever fall in love
because he'll only get hurt anyway. we have misguided lawyers here
too, far too many of them in fact, for about over 20 years, and they
need to get an income. all that increased sueing stuff can be traced
back to the growing numbers of lawyers hitting the open market. not
that it offers a solution but there's still the bottom of the ocean
or the moon, and mars may be an issue soon...

> >Quite frankly, I wouldn't have thought this topic would emerge the
> >way it has on a cryptography mailinglist. Maybe it's about time to
> >publish my article "Why Cryptography Is Important In Modern Life"
> >after all (don't hold your breath; with me being pretty busy it's
> >not due until after eastern).
> Cryptography is a tool, not a religion, notwithstanding the desires
> of many to deify it.  It is the application that delivers benefits,
> and properly thought out apps generally use as little crypto as
> they can get away with.  Top-down applications thinking says "use
> the tool that does the job" whereas bottom-up, toolbox thinking
> says "use this tool because it's so cool!"

I guess you got me wrong, and I'm not sure I get your top-down,
bottom-up analogies. Anyway, I'm not propagating means of
cryptography because of a religious hype or something. to clarify
this, me and my friends are not amused by officials having the legal
means to listen in on email communications, phone conversations, etc.
both without prior suspicion and some kind of notification of the
person(s) being listened in to, let alone legal backup (it was
rendered redundant anyway). because of the terrorist-threat-hype such
processes are now accelerated to fit only the state's benefits, yet
they sold as a citizen's benefit altogether. we have a saying here (i
hope it carries over, i'm not a native english speaker): working at
such a hectic pace replaces an intellectual calm.

From what I wrote above I guess it can be boiled down to this. Means
of cryptography are valued because of the possibility to protect
one's privacy that the state obviously has deemed unnecessary, for
good citizens surely don't have something to hide. simply put, since
we all don't walk the street naked, the state always wins. such a
state is out of balance, and checks are most likely still in place
where they possibly can't influence a larger picture.

someone smart said (and for me it really boils down to it): if
cryptography is outlawed, only the outlawed will have privacy.

having just recently "argued" with some elected politicians over
intellectual property rights legislation, i've come to favour the
swiss system over the parliamentary democracy here in Germany;
politicans there seem to be way more down-to-earth and citizen
oriented. instead we sadly seem to have in place some underground
italian-way system...

left blank, right bald

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