The top FBI lawyer who tried to force Apple to backdoor its crypto now says working crypto is essential to public safety and national security

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The notion that people should not …

… is a really important concept that needs to be surfaced more in any discussions about surveillance, etc.


Law enforcement is seduced by the idea of banning working crypto because we already arrange our affairs to make their jobs easier. To them it seems like the logical next step instead of a logical leap.


It’s a simple first amendment issue. Saying something to a friend is protected speech. Discussing mathematics and using mathematical algorithms is protected speech. Doing both at once is protected speech. There’s nothing in the first amendment that allows for limits on how you can say something.

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  1. It takes a big man to admit he was wrong.
  2. Christ, what an asshole.

He seems to have realized that the “just force the nerds to bow to us” strategy has downsides when adversarial third parties have more nerds in strategic places and can use the same strategy.

And the horrifying thing is that this, um, insight puts him above profession average.


He’s the guy who repeatedly blew the whistle ~15 years ago, when DOJ was using warrantless and unlawful surveillance to gather evidence which was then used to obtain warrants for lawful surveillance. Not an asshole.


Countries like Russia, China, Iran

Ah, yes. The usual roster of paranoid states, hostile to m’Western values of freedom and human rights, scared of their own citizens, and furthermore —

Australia and the UK

Uh … but it’s different when we do it! It’s in defense of liberty! To protect us from those who hate us! To protect our way of life! We’re democracies, after all.


The federal courts have held that an “actual loss to the government of any property or funds” is not an element of the offense; to secure a conviction, the government must prove “only that the defendant’s activities impeded or interfered with legitimate governmental functions.”[1] For example, a businessman who used a front company to gain federal subcontracts for bridge construction meant for disadvantaged businesses was convicted under this section.[4][5]
The statute has been used in a wide variety of contexts; it is “a common federal charge, mainly because it can target a wide range of conduct and can be tacked on to other charges.”[6]

Countries like […] the UK have adopted laws banning working crypto

Not yet. The government keeps bringing it up as something they want, but there’s no legislation yet.
Theoretically you do have to give up your passwords if you’re ordered to by a court, but so far only one person has been prosecuted for not doing so.

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I hear they like the back door.
But seriously if it’s an open door, it’s an open door for anyone.

Im having trouble reconciling this with not being an asshole. Everything about the feds’ actions in this case was totalitarian, and anyone involved with them was an asshole.

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