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Unformatted text preview: espect the rights of privacy of its citizens. They may be doing something that they feel shouldn’t be illegal, but is. For whatever reason, the data and communications are personal, private, and no one else’s business. This book is being published in a tumultuous time. In 1994, the Clinton administration approved the Escrowed Encryption Standard (including the Clipper chip and Fortezza card) and signed the Digital Telephony bill into law. Both of these initiatives try to ensure the government’s ability to conduct electronic surveillance. Some dangerously Orwellian assumptions are at work here: that the government has the right to listen to private communications, and that there is something wrong with a private citizen trying to keep a secret from the government. Law enforcement has always been able to conduct court–authorized surveillance if possible, but this is the first time that the people have been forced to take active measures to make themselves available for surveillance. These initiatives are not simply government proposals in some obscure area; they are preemptive and unilateral attempts to usurp powers that previously belonged to the people. Clipper and Digital Telephony do not protect privacy; they force individuals to unconditionally trust that the government will respect their privacy. The same law enforcement authorities who illegally tapped Martin Luther King Jr.’s phones can easily tap a phone protected with Clipper. In the recent past, local police authorities have either been charged criminally or sued civilly in numerous jurisdictions—Maryland, Connecticut, Vermont, Georgia, Missouri, and Nevada—for conducting illegal wiretaps. It’s a poor idea to deploy a technology that could some day facilitate a police state. The lesson here is that it is insufficient to protect ourselves with laws; we need to protect ourselves with mathematics. Encryption is too important to be left solely to governments. This book gives you the tools you need to protect your...
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- Fall '10