encryption, search, and due process [cr-95/10/21]


Sender: •••@••.••• (Kurt Guntheroth)

In the United States, on issue of a warrant stating the place to be searched
and the evidence to be seized, and after showing "probable cause" that
criminal activity is occurring, the police can search any premises, batter
down any door, force any lock.  They can read your mail and listen to your
phone conversations.  The Constitution does not provide unlimited protection
from search and seizure, nor does it guarantee unlimited privacy.  I venture
that laws are similar in most democracies.

Strong cryptography is a thing not anticipated by the Constitution; a lock
that cannot be picked, a door that cannot be forced.

Much as I loathe escrowed keys (a technically unworkable system as well
as an invitation to tyranny and domestic espionage) we must answer the

    Why do we have a right to privacy in cyberspace that is greater than
    our right to privacy in the physical world?

As yet, I have no reasonable answer to this question.  The best answer would
be a demonstration that the constitutional protection was not strong enough
in the physical world or in cyberspace.  Fear of tyranny does not seem enough;
it is a real but remote possibility.

Any ideas?


Sender: Simeon ben Nevel <•••@••.•••>

On Thu, 19 Oct 1995, Cyber Rights wrote:

> Encryption

>                            Can restrictions on encryption help to
>     break up terrorist organizations and gangs?

It certainly doesn't seem to have helped the French very much!!  The
French government has long-standing ban on the use of strong crypto (with
out explicit and very hard to get official permission).

This ban, however, has not stopped the Algerian terrorists from bombing
innocents at will in the Paris Metro.


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 Posted by Andrew Oram  - •••@••.••• - Moderator: CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)
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