* 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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