Re: FW: Crypto

From: Michael H. Warfield (
Date: Wed Aug 02 2000 - 22:37:58 EST

On Thu, Aug 03, 2000 at 12:02:50AM -0400, Stephen Frost wrote:

> I'd love to believe this, but the actions of the gov't wrt copyright
> law goes very much against this. The Sonny Bono act which extended copyright
> for another 20 years was totally retroactive. The Gutenburg Project actually
> had to remove some books that had put online because they came back under
> copyright restrictions due to the Sonny Bono act.

> I have no clue if they'd try the same thing here. Probably depends
> on if some big business is pushing them.

        Then, maybe, the answer is to take advange of the opportunity
here and now to spread this as wide and as far as we possibly can so
to place it totally outside of their reach. The barn door is open. Now
is NOT the time to just let the horses stick their noses out. The time
is now to kick them in the #$@$#@ and start a $#@$#@ stampede and make
it clear that the barn is empty and slamming the doors will do NOTHING.

        So WHAT if the US thinks to slam the door on FreeSWAN (let them
try now, in the position they are in on the free speech issues in the
courts). The sources are all over the globe and hosted in the Neitherlands.
Just what do they think the US government could possibly do?

        I'm sorry but... I do respect the guys on the FreeSWAN project
but they are a bit paranoid and more than a bit cowardly. I can say that
because I HAVE contributed to SSH (check the README file - I'm in there
and it was illegal in the US at the time - OK, I didn't realize it at the
time) and Eric Raymond and I DID decide to post the SSL patches to fetchmail
(which I authored) on a US site before the US relaxed the regulations (and
I DID realize it at the time and consulted with my companies crypto lawyer).

        Sometimes I SWEAR the FreeSWAN gang are a bunch of hypocrits.
They will "stand up for principle" when it comes to single DES and say
"we won't support it, even in transision environments" because it is
"insecure" and provides a "false sense of security" but then will
say they won't tolerate the HINT of US tainted code because the US MIGHT
change its mind. I understand that they are falling over backwards
to avoid ever having to defend their principles. They made it clear.
They don't want to merely be in a clean defensible position where the
courts would find in their favor, they want to be so overwhelmingly
safe that there would be nothing that could be brough against them for
which they would have to defend themselves. Their principles, in both
cases, are that they want to dictate their position in a way that imposes
their politics and avoids any need for them to defend themselves in a

        They may have one other thing in mind too... Once KLIPS is in the
kernel, nothing is prohibiting someone else from porting ISKMP from
BSD or anywhere else (once PFKEY2 is fully supported) to Linux. FreeSWAN
is two parts. KLIPS (the kernel part) and PLUTO (IKE - the user space
part). Porting ISKMP from OpenBSD to Linux is already been discussed.
If that happens, they can't dictate politics anymore. The horses will
be out of more than one barn at that time... And that will be a very
good thing. :-)

> Stephen


 Michael H. Warfield    |  (770) 985-6132   |
  (The Mad Wizard)      |  (770) 331-2437   |
  NIC whois:  MHW9      |  An optimist believes we live in the best of all
 PGP Key: 0xDF1DD471    |  possible worlds.  A pessimist is sure of it!

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