goverment vs. cryptography


Recycles dryer sheets
Nov 22, 2002
Well, my comment abut funds that say 'trust me' that I just made got me thinking...there are a few people posting on these boards that are a little less than enamoured with our goverment :) Have any of you read Crypto by Steven Levy? I found it quite interesting and well organized (for the first 80% - the last 80% jumped all over). One quote attributed to a goverment official speaking to Jim Bidzos:
If I see you in the parking lot, I'll run your ass over
I was tangentially aware of alot of the tech issues mentioned, having worked in the computer field while they were coming up, but not the issues behind the scenes!

Read it. Strong crypto has been out of the bag for quite a while now, but I'm not sure we're feeling a huge impact.

There's no anonymous digital cash (a la Chaum). Privacy of personal data is at an all-time low (public records accessible over the internet, credit reporting databases, cookie-based tracking, etc).

About the only positive impact has been the enabling of e-commerce, but even those supposedly secure transactions are really only as secure as the servers that ultimately store the info (generally not very secure).

And when was the last time you decided to encrypt your email or phone conversations? Nice to know the technology is available, but personal privacy is still a very tough nut to crack (no pun intended).
Yes, strong crypto has been out a while, although I had not realized the battle against it had raged quite to the extent I read about.

Web (e-commerce) encryption is very important. I do banking, investing over the web now, and they use RC-4/128 bit for the investing. As was quoted near the end of the book, 'we found the problem for our solution' was quoted as referring to commerce on the web.

I also used to use encryption to work from home over a VPN. But use by individual end users is low, certainly not the nightmare feared by the NSA.

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