Germany demands an end to working cryptography

This, I’d say, is the fundamental problem with Doctorow’s criticism.

The reason these laws keep being proposed, and indeed passed by huge margins, isn’t because politicians think they’re somehow going to make society better.

The purpose of these laws is to publicly declare who’s boss. Specifically: the cops and the cop-politicians are boss. You, pathetic little worm academics, programmers, civil libertarians, journalists, regular people… you’re not boss. You can be thrown in jail arbitrarily at any time, and don’t you forget it.

If the law means that the only people who can use encryption or do research are good little subservient employees of well connected institutions and government agencies, well, so much the better. Now you know that it pays to be on good terms with the boss. Maybe send in some more kickbacks, provide more lavish steak dinners. You know. If you know what’s good for you.

It doesn’t matter one bit to the politicos and the cops whether your encryption works or not, whether you have any privacy or secure bank records or anything. Unless you’re rich and powerful, of course.

Criticizing these laws as bad policy doesn’t really matter, because like all laws favored by right wing authoritarians, the purpose of the laws isn’t to make good policy.


Not at all if you’re familiar with German politics, particular the CSU4), and Horst Seehofer’s1) antics. Who, as @wolfman_al2 pointed out, will be put out to pasture soon anyway, after being ousted as the King of Bavaria chairman of the CSU and PM of Bavaria2) in a palace revolt, being reduced to having to work as a Bundesminister under Angela “Mutti” Merkel3) in order to retain some appearance of political potency.

If you want to worry, worry about the AfD and the NPD.

We’re working on it.
But it seems like the standard for industrialized countries is that 20-25% of the population tend to be right-wing idiots, so it’s an uphill battle.


1) Who’d probably insist on being referred to as a Bavarian politician; one of so very, very few of his positions I’d actually agree with.

2) You’d think those are two separate jobs, but de facto they have been indivisible since 1946. Don’t ask, it’s a Bavarian thing.

3) A woman! From The EastTM! Who is a protestant! With a legit advanced scientific degree! Seriously, this is a real demotion for him after being King of Bavaria holding the top spot in Munich. The tone was set decades ago by Franz-Josef Strauß, who, while ruling Bavaria, once said (and meant!) that he did’t give a flying fuck who was Bundeskanzler under him.

4) Gerhard Polt once condensed the CSU’s whole political stance in one beautiful, succinct sentence: We don’t need any opposition parties, because we already are democrats. (Imagine this being said in a heavy accent. With bad grammar.)


Yeah, the kind of people who support this aren’t going to be convinced by policy pieces. Guillotines are probably a better bet.

I don’t see what’s puzzling about that. It’s almost stereotypical. Without googling it, can you name the secret police of any eastern bloc country except Russia and East Germany?

That’s exactly my point.


This is possibly the most effective way to get the point across:

Hey, European politicians- If you propose this, then you’re being as stupid and intransigent in the face of reality as Teresa May.


TBH, Seehofer ist doing that to take the butter of the neo-fascists bread. The AfD, already represented in German parliament and many regional parliaments (Landeaparlamente), is a major threat to the ruling CDU. Hardliners like Horst Seehofer are pushing since years against the moderate conservative course represented by Angela Merkel. Up until now, they generally failed to get any votes from the voters they have “lost” to the AfD.

On another note, similar bullshit in regard to encryption was already uttered by Otto Schily, an SPD hardliner, during his time as minister of interior.

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It should be abundantly clear that the only people who can be trusted to use cryptography and other such tools are government agencies like the NSA, who can be certain to keep those tools safe from malign foreign agencies and hacking groups.
Oh, wait a minute…

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I don’t know. This sounds exactly like Dietrich Bonhofer’s quote on stupidity to me. You can present these people with the facts, but it doesn’t seem to do anything.

“Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed – in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.”


The ad said they were horney AND within 20km and wanted to meet ME.

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So, while everyone dresses in white beach scrims or sari and just blackly considers Boris, P.M., or such, it’s important to parade this sort of thing (and now, #1, an holomnemosyneocracy, or larch;) for olds because they’d believe what-all about the post-Labor (…oh my…) party over the nationalist one?

How green are the greens now? Doing Libertarian things like being all science-forward but then proposing a natural order that isn’t 2% model-able by the status quo? Can no-one run on the Konami Code?

You’d have thought Germany, of all countries, would be aware of the risks of implementing faulty encryption.


One of those times one feels obliged to create multiple accounts to like more than once.

Group Theory too (and possibly other subdisciplines of mathematics.)

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Why not just cite Schiller: “Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.”

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