my letter to Newsweek

Carl Ellison cme at
Thu Mar 17 12:19:28 PST 1994

(with practice, I get more succinct.  With luck I'll get a lot more
practice at this! :-)  Have y'all written, too?

 - Carl

>TO:  Letters Editor, Newsweek
>FAX: (212) 350-4120
>SUBJECT:  Mar 14, 94; p. 38; "Keeping the Cybercops Out of Cyberspace"
>Dear Editor:
>I consider myself a pragmatic critic and yet I propose scrapping any "key
>escrow" system, Clipper included.  It is too insecure, not just because of
>government misconduct (although I am old enough to remember the Nixon
>administration) but because it opens discovery of encryption keys up to
>plain vanilla criminals.
>By creating a database of master keys (no matter how many pieces they are
>in), what has previously required the mathematical genius and computer
>budget of the NSA to crack is laid wide open to people whose only skills
>are in bribery, breaking and entering, impersonation, coercion, ..., namely
>those skills in which organized crime is presumably more expert than even
>the CIA.
>Meanwhile, the talk about wiretap court orders is misleading.  Encryption
>will be needed by civilians in vast quantities not for wire communications
>but for wireless (and cellular) communications for which no one needs a
>court order to eavesdrop without fear of being detected.
>Thank you for your article and for considering these additional points.
>Carl M. Ellison

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