anonimo arancio nobody at
Wed Oct 9 19:28:26 PDT 2002

This relates to an issue I've wanted to discuss with "Cypherpunks" for several years.
Over the years, I've seen several commentators (including Timothy May) appear suprised when discussing the US's encryption export policies.
The basic argument is that, if good encryption is available overseas or easily downloadable, it doesn't make sense to make export of it illegal.

On the surface this would seem a sensible argument.
ANd, it would seem a purely beaureaucratic (I'm sure I spelled that wrong) error.
But I am wondering if Cypherpunks have mentioned the 'obvious'.

The government knows exactly what it's doing. It wants to discourage the use of encryption by any means necessary, because of sheer numbers.
Basically, the more messages that are encypted, the more hardware (and therefore $$$) will be needed to decrypt them.
Therefore, the only way they can stay ahead of the game is to keep the numbers as low as possible, so they can continue to "outspend" the problem.
This is, from their perspective, a perfectly reasonable approach to decrypting large numbers of messages, a small fraction of which may contain "interesting" information.

Is the above statement a) wrong, b) obvious c) mentioned previously on the cypherpunks boards, or d)"hey! We never thought of that"

More information about the cypherpunks-legacy mailing list