Clipper (Re: Dorothy Denning) +1-510-484-6204 wcs at
Tue Mar 1 23:38:52 PST 1994

"W. Kinney" <kinney at bogart.Colorado.EDU> writes:

> I think this is very perceptive. Clipper is perhaps the best 
> they could _think_ of given an outmoded set of axioms. 
> If the presumptions people in government have about their own role
> are no longer valid, they probably don't fully realize it yet, 
> or at least can't admit they do. 

I disagree.  My opinion is that the axioms involved are
1) We're in power, and want to stay there.
2) Some kinds of technology greatly enhance our power if we control them.
3) Crypto Technology is a major threat to our power unless we control it.
4) Maybe we can stop it if we act quickly, at a cost to society
that's low enough that we won't cause a major revolt
5) If we pull that off, the success will help consolidate our power.
6) The public believes almost anything we tell them, at least for a while,
as long as we sound sincere.

Of those axioms, only 4) is really in question, though 1a) is a bit shaky.
Even George Bush could pull off 6) as long as the economy was doing ok.

Some of the people, though probably not Clinton, have some other axioms,
which I'll agree are obsolete or outright bogus, like:
-1) Government is inherently a good way to do things.
-2) We can accomplish a lot of good things with our power.
-3) We're not really interested in power for its own sake
-4) We're smart enough to run a planned economy

> Clipper is just the kind of woefully clueless thing people in 
> that position would come up with.

It's not at all clueless.  It's offensive, unAmerican, and probably 
won't win, but there's a subtle malignity to it that's almost
Nixonesque in its cleverness, and it's tacky enough they may be 
able to pull it off.

# Bill Stewart  AT&T Global Information Solutions, aka NCR Corp
# 6870 Koll Center Parkway, Pleasanton CA, 94566 Phone 1-510-484-6204 fax-6399
# email bill.stewart at billstewart at
# ViaCrypt PGP Key IDs 384/C2AFCD 1024/9D6465

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