Tim Misfires / Re: Joichi Ito as a Junior Policeman

Joichi Ito jito at eccosys.com
Sun Aug 3 05:37:04 PDT 1997

At 01:56 97/08/03 -0600, Toto wrote:

>   It is clearly up to Joichi Ito to decide how he can best work toward
> cypherpunk goals under his system of government, but he would do well
> to listen to those on the list who have seen more than a few crusaders
> sink into the swill when they make the mistake of talking to the piggies
> too close to the trough.
>   A good sign that you have not yet been co-opted is if you still take
> that "extra" briefcase to the meetings, just in case.
> {"I've got to run out to my car for a moment with my briefcase, but I
> will be leaving my _other_ briefcase here." <tick-tock-tick-tock>}
> TruthMonger

Point well taken. I understand that it is easy to get misdirected
when you are "dancing with the devil"... Currently, as one of the primary
supporters of privacy and free access to cryptography in Japan, I have much
to lose and very little to gain from being "co-opted." by "the bad guys" (who
aren't looking out for the interests of the people).  In addition, although
the Japanese Self Defense Force may be militaristic (they are the military
so they probably are pretty militaristic), Japan does not have the
equivalent of the NSA. It really is in Japanese national security interests
to consider minimizing risk by distributing it since they obviously do not
have the ability to control it in the way that the US does. Anyone who
has been following the statements by the Japanese at the OECD should
note that Japan has alway lagged behind in supporting government control
of crypto. In addition (although this article is very seldom sited in actual
cases) the Japanese constitution provides for privacy of communications
for citizens. Also, most of the crypto technology is held in private

Really, what I am try to do is two things:

1) Make sure that Japan makes the right decision about crypto policy so
that they do no stifle commercial development of crypto or put at risk
national and individual security/privacy by implementing a weak system because
of political pressure or domestic surveilance requirements.

2) Make sure that Japan does not repeat the US "Hacker Crackdown" and
more recent Australian crackdowns which I think can cause a rift between
hackers and society. Right now I think the risk of weak security from
the point of view of IWar and just plain network failure is much more
than cracking down on hackers/crackers. I'm trying to head off such
movements by trying to put threats and risks into perspective at the National
Security level and take the focus away from the activities of hackers who
I think can help improve security and lower risks in the long term.

As for Tim's message... I keep worrying (when I am in Japan) that I'm too
radical, so it's nice to hear from someone who is really hardcore to put
a wimp like me in my place. ;-P

I guess I still believe in trying to redirect the process of government before
"dropping out"... I'm not making it any easier for the "bad guys" giving them
my opinion and I can alway "drop out" when I think no one's listening

Anyway, I'm going to stop writing now before all of the government people
reading this list decide to put me in their kill file. Then no one will be
to me. ;-P

- Joi

P.S. I wrote an article in the Daily Yomiuri about a year ago that outlines
where I am coming from. Please take a look if you are interested. The
Daily Yomiuri is a national Japanese newspaper.

Finger jito at nsm.eccosys.com or jito at garage.co.jp for PGP Key
Fingerprint for RSA PGP Key ID 0x0EE23A2D
0D3A 7AAA 3DA8 E7B3  3AF1 C6FA B7ED D834
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58F3 CA9A EFB8 EB9D DF18  6B16 E48D AF2A 2D94 61F1
Home Page: http://domino.garage.co.jp/jito/joihome.nsf
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