Re: DES Crack outside US

Scott McDermott (
Tue, 29 Apr 1997 13:51:03 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 29 Apr 1997, Mikael Brown wrote:

> I think if the key was broken by world effort outside the US that a greater
> impact would be made...but not the impact we want. I wonder if encryption
> laws will only increase if a foreign body cracks the code...think of
> it...if someone in another nation cracks a national encryption standard do
> you think Congress will want to "free-up" exportation laws or "tighten"
> their grip on exportation?

That's a good point. I'd say keep it in the US & CA. I'd be concerned
that that would be used as an example of exactly why we want to strangle
the personal freedoms of the US citizen. I think the risk of giving them
ammo is great.

Then again, they may just take a different view. They may decide that if
this few people can break our encryption standard, that we need to take
away the encryption completely so that our national secrets can be safe.
(Ignoring the fact that that won't stop foreign governments, or people who
don't care about the law.)

I honestly think it's probably up to how the press handle it. Internet &
computers in general are getting press I really never imagined they'd
have. (I mean, come on, does Gatorade need a web site? Why do my M&M's
have a URL on them?!) Security & virus issues have been making their way
into the news recently, too. I'm curious (and a bit hesitant) to find
out how the press decides to play the cracking of DES. That will directly
affect the way people feel about it (a society composed primarily of
sponges, unfortunately), and the politicians will probably react in line
with how it's played by the press.

So I guess the question really may be, how will the press handle it?

Scott McDermott - Systems Administrator | Deliver yesterday,
King County Library System | Code today,
PGP key available in the usual places | Think tomorrow