The Telcos oppose Oxley

Bill Stewart stewarts at
Thu Sep 25 03:24:31 PDT 1997

At 07:18 PM 09/24/1997 -0700, Tim May wrote:
>I think it was Bill Stewart who recently described all the various minor
>crimes which will likely soon involve crypto, things like calling for a
>hooker on a phone that has crypto in it, using a Metricom Ricochet wireless
>system to send banned words to a foreigner, and so on. All kinds of minor
>crimes suddenly have 10- and 20-year sentences attached.

I've been using "Jaywalking while talking on a digital cellphone",
but also things like "Cheating on your taxes with PGP on your computer"...
We came up with a bunch more at the recent Cypherpunks meeting.

So many of the extra-penalty laws are bogus; one classic abuse was a guy in 
New York who was charged with "illegal possession of a linoleum knife".
Now, possession of linoleum knives is perfectly legal, even without a
flooring-installer's license.  _This_ knife became illegal when
he allegedly stabbed his girlfriend with it, at which point he could
- keep the knife (illegal possession of a previously non-illegal object)
- get rid of it (illegal obstruction of justice), or
- turn it in at police station (good start on an insanity defense...)

Bill Stewart, stewarts at
Regular Key PGP Fingerprint D454 E202 CBC8 40BF  3C85 B884 0ABE 4639

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