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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Boycott O'Reilly

by stvn (Monsignor)
on Jan 23, 2004 at 01:35 UTC ( #323392=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Re: Re: Re: Boycott O'Reilly
in thread Boycott O'Reilly

If such material wasn't published at all, by well meaning organizations or elsewhere, what would happen? Only those with enough brains to learn programming, without being given any security related tips or code, would be able to write new computer cracking software (and protection). Is that good or bad? For crackers, it would create a roadblock. For real programmers, they would have had to learn to program anyway, so it's not as bad.

So by this, it seems to me you are saying smarter crackers are a good thing? The point is that the information is out there, neither you nor I can change that. Best to be prepared. Knowledge is power.

I guess those anti-hacker organizations are good, but the government also wants to prevent computer break-ins, with even more urgency because their focus is on national security. I don't know what they say about books like these, but I know something about the USA Patriot Actand how the government feels about encryption, and I bet they would be on my side.

The government has long had issues with encryption, and its "export" to other countries, this is nothing new. The Patriot Act may have "strengthened" these positions, but strength does not directly correlate to intelligence. Much of legislation out there which pertains to computers is either outdated before its passed or written from a techno-ignorant point of view.

The government's attempt to control the dissemination of encryption techniques and algorithms illustrates my point best. If knowing the implementation of an encryption algorithm makes it less secure, then it was never secure in the first place. With a truely secure encryption algorithm, it won't matter if you have the implementation in front of you or not.

If you want to read about encryption, I wouldn't recommend the Patriot Act, there are far better texts on the subject. For starters, try anything by Bruce Schiener.

-stvn

In response to your "God Bless America" comment and concerns for national security. I will leave you with a few words of wisdom from our founding fathers.

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
   - Benjamin Franklin

Ignorant and free has never been and never will be.
   - Thomas Jefferson

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
   - George Washington


Comment on Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Boycott O'Reilly
Re: Gov't view on encryption
by graff (Chancellor) on Jan 23, 2004 at 02:04 UTC
    You said:
    The government's attempt to control the dissemination of encryption techniques and algorithms illustrates my point best. If knowing the implementation of an encryption algorithm makes it less secure, then it was never secure in the first place.
    I'm not an authority on this, but my impression about the reasoning behind the U.S. ban on "exporting" certain strong encryption methods was that these methods were considered "too strong". The perceived problem was not that America's own encrypted traffic might become compromised, but rather that the U.S. didn't want others using these methods, because then it would be harder for the U.S. to track what others were doing. I could be wrong about that, but it seemed plausible when I first heard the idea.

      Your absolutely right. Thank you for refreshing my memory.

      -stvn

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