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Subject: IP: Zimmerman and others being blamed for 9/11 and A simpleobservation about encryption

  • From: David Farber <>
  • Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 08:06:33 -0400

>Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 23:00:55 -0400
>From: "David P. Reed" <>
>Subject: Zimmerman and others being blamed for 9/11
>Dave - this didn't appear on IP, and I suspect you should include 
>it.  Apparently folks want to blame the inventor of PGP personally for 
>terrorism.  Might as well blame King Gillette for it - he invented the 
>blade used in boxcutters.
>- David

From: "Bob Frankston" <>
To: "David Farber" <>
Subject: A simple observation about encryption

The juxtaposition of the events in New York and the latest virus rampaging 
on the web is interesting. They are not related (I assume) but there is a 
common element. The Internet's resilience has been worth noting and plays a 
part in our ability to keep our infrastructure intact despite the attack. 
But, as the virus demonstrates, the Internet is very different from 
physical structures and there is no perimeter. Instead, we must rely on 
techniques like encryption for survivability.
It's all too easy to pile on and point the finger out decisions which are 
obviously "wrong" in light of future knowledge. The CIA is criticized for 
creating bin Ladens and now for not working with them.
The attack on encryptions (and, once again, the ACLU) will seem, in 
hindsight, to be one more misguided policy. In fact, we should be working 
towards pervasive use of encryption as well as better intra-system 
security, if we are to be ready for the threat of casual terrorism. 
Cyber-terrorism is indeed a threat and, unlike an obvious attack on 
buildings and people, there may be few inhibitions against doing something 
to just see what happens. Shutting down the net is obviously wrong but so 
is making the use of it as risky. A good analogy would be to disallow the 
use of locked doors for private homes.

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