Questions about US/Canadian Laws about public encryption
E. Dean Tribble
tribble at xanadu.com
Fri Dec 11 10:10:54 PST 1992
Any attempt at "secret law" in the US would be pretty straightforward to
defeat on the basis that it denies due process and a whole lot else besides.
Secret court orders! Retch! Next person to get one should run not walk to
the offices of the nearest big newspaper or radio/TV station and do a live
on-air interview. Then the govt has to take on the press as well, and by
that time it's kinda too late.
This worls in theory, but practice can be much more confusing. For
instance, the warrant used to invade Steve Jackson Games was sealed,
so they couldn't see what was being looked for. If you face a Grand
Jury, then you can't take the 5th (thus drug crimes are being pursued
by Grand Juries). Etc. I'm not prophesying gloom and doom (at least
not here :-), merely pointing out that what makes sense, what seems
ethical, what the theory of the law says, and what the practice of
the law says are all different, and it's quite easy to be wrong.
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