RE: CRIME New rant on crypto from Bruce Sterling

From: Busby, Richard (richardb@private)
Date: Tue Dec 04 2001 - 08:32:13 PST

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    But the absolute best part is yet to come. Wait until somebody eventually
    finds out who that mysterious QX5773 is. Oh, and someone will, because it is
    the nature of the human beast to try to figure things out.  The more
    difficult the challenge the more enticing it is. Won't that someone (or we)
    be surprised to learn that QZ5773 is actually a 55 yr old overweight balding
    guy (no offense to you overweight balding guys, just had to give a face to
    him) who works in the - gasp! US Department of Commerce, or is a colonel in
    the Pentagon using the proceeds from the sale of the pirated Gucci handbags
    to fund his pet little war against (Enter the name of favorite small anti-US
    country here).
    Would the US government (or any other government for that matter) actually
    engage in a little covert international trade to gain funds to use as they
    see fit without the drag of public scrutiny - Nah, couldn't happen. Jeez,
    what was I thinking?
    Peace, y'all!
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Toby Kohlenberg [mailto:toby@private]
    Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 12:17 AM
    Cc: crime@private
    Subject: CRIME New rant on crypto from Bruce Sterling
    I think the funniest part I've found so far is:
      That is the ISLANDS IN THE NET scenario: where the sinister digital
    underground takes over some penny-ante country like Grenada, and we make
    every form of piracy locally legal there, and then we just run up our
    black skull-and-crossbones on the website, and we start selling WINDOWS
    for nine dollars ninety-five cents. We'll encrypt every bit of data going
    in and out, so nobody will even know what we're up to! We'll have these
    key-sharing digital networks of trust, where all the cool people will have
    our crypto power-handshake, and it'll be like it was when we were selling
    pot to each other in the dorm in Berkeley, only, like, on a cosmic scale.
      And this is where it just starts to get good, because we rebel
    crypto-fiends will be exchanging messages, and conducting all kinds of
    business, and negotiating electronic contracts, with people we don't even
    know and who we're even never gonna know. If we need a hundred kilos of
      black tar opium, we just hit the F1 function key, and some guy from
    Sinaloa or Medellin or the Northern Alliance, whom we know only as QX5773
    at blacknet dot org, he accepts our anonymous electronic funny money, and
    he ships the drugs to us to a dead drop in a giant freight container,
    along with some illegal refugees, and some pirated Gucci handbags, and all
    the stolen UNIX code we can eat! It's crypto paradise! For we have created
    a totally liquid market for any and all material which can be put into
    words and pictures: books, movies, computer games, trade secrets,
    government secrets, business software; it'll all be sucked down into the
    black hole of the churning crypto mill, and the State will wither away.
    That said, he actually has some good things to say and it is an
    interesting read.

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