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Unformatted text preview: apart. What if some countries don’t accept the security of escrow agencies on faith? How do users do business there? Are their digital contracts upheld by their courts, or is the fact that their signature key is held in escrow in the U.S. going to allow them to claim in Switzerland that someone else could have signed this electronic contract? Or will there be special waivers for people who do business in such countries? And what about industrial espionage? There is no reason to believe that countries which currently conduct industrial espionage for their important or state-run companies will refrain from doing so on key-escrowed encryption systems. Indeed, since virtually no country is going to allow other countries to oversee its intelligence operations, widespread use of escrowed encryption will probably increase the use of wiretaps. Even if countries with good civil rights records use key escrow only for the legitimate pursuit of criminals and terrorists, it’s certain to be used elsewhere to keep track of dissidents, blackmail political opponents, and so on. Digital communications offer the opportunity to do a much more thorough job of monitoring citizens’ actions, opinions, purchases, and associations than is possible in an analog world. It’s not clear how this will affect commercial key escrow, except that 20 years from now, selling Turkey or China a ready-made key-escrow system may look a lot like selling shock batons to South Africa in 1970, or building a chemical plant for Iraq in 1980. Even worse, effortless and untraceable tapping of communications may tempt a number of governments into tracking many of their citizens’ communications, even those which haven’t generally tried to do so before. And there’s no guarantee that liberal democracies will be immune to this temptation. Previous Table of Contents Next Products | Contact Us | About Us | Privacy | Ad Info | Home Use of this site is subject to certain Terms & Conditions, Copyright © 1996-2000 EarthWeb Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction whole or...
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This note was uploaded on 10/18/2010 for the course MATH CS 301 taught by Professor Aliulger during the Fall '10 term at Koç University.
- Fall '10