Denning backs away from GAK

Bill Stewart stewarts at
Fri Aug 1 19:44:20 PDT 1997

>Tim May writes:
>> And her "second thoughts" on GAK were not based on a principled 
>> repudiation of the concept of "escrowing" keys, or on Constitutional 
>> grounds, but only on the grounds that her study did not show that many 
>> criminal cases were much affected by the lack of key escrow.

That's fine - if we wanted people to oppose crypto-censorship on
moral or political grounds, we could ask the ACLU or EFF or CypherpunkCabal.
Professor Denning's position has never been that eavesdropping and
key escrow are required on the grounds of principle - it's
Louis Freeh's job to say "we can't go upsetting Law Enforcement's
traditional ability to eavesdrop on you, that'd be UnAmerican".
Her important contributions to the Bad Guys' position has been to say that
"Law enforcement needs your keys because there's no practical alternative",
which reinforces the FBI's and NSA's arguments.  Now that she's saying
"Law enforcement doesn't really need your keys, they're doing just fine
without them, even in spite of all the insider talks they've given me"
that knocks the utilitarian leg out from under them.  That's very good.

Won't stop the Bad Guys from trying, of course, but it's a good start.
On the other hand, it'll probably provide extra ammunition for the current
"legalize exports but criminalize use of crypto in crime" bills,
which gives the government more power than they've had before domestically
at the cost of losing the export battle which they were losing anyway.

#			Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, +1-415-442-2215 stewarts at
# You can get PGP outside the US at
#   (If this is a mailing list or news, please Cc: me on replies.  Thanks.)

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