William Barr's terrible, stupid idea to ban working crypto is slightly less terrible and stupid than earlier ideas

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/24/math-denialism.html


Barr is proposing that working crypto still be available for “nuclear launch codes” and other sensitive applications, including “customized encryption used by large business enterprises to protect their operations,”

So small businesses can’t use cryptography?

Also, the only cryptography we need WRT nuclear launch codes is one that 45 can’t break.


with Australia bringing home the gold in the Dumbfuck Olympics.

Cannot be better said.


No problem, he will never guess “00000000”.


Hey, companies like Enron, Phillip Morris, Volkswagen, and Huawei need to protect their secrets!


They are also completely ignoring the First Amendment issues. If I want to send a friend a message that says;
46 75 63 6b 20 57 69 6c 6c 69 61 6d 20 62 61 72 72

There’s no special exemption in the first amendment that says that free speech only applies to speech that some totalitarian thug in the government can understand.

Similarly, unless you’re going to argue that mathematical algorithms are somehow not covered by the first amendment, there’s no possible legitimate way the government could make a law outlawing private citizens running whatever mathematical algorithms they want to.


If he’s feeling launchy, just set one of these in front of him:

He’ll get tuckered out in a bit, and go take a nap on a stripper.


Barr is explicitly declaring that it’s more important for the government to be able to spy on its citizens than for its citizens to be safe from spying by criminals.

I don’t think this is less terrible and stupid than earlier ideas, it’s just more forthright in admitting the motive.


It’s so disheartening when legislative representatives think they know more about math and science than mathematicians or scientists. It’s also disheartening that most mathematicians or scientists have the critical thinking skills to know more about proper legislation priorities than most legislative representatives.

Yeah, I’m going to Goodwin this :slight_smile:.


Yeah, the silver lining of “At they’re saying the quiet parts loud now” is starting to burn my retinas a little.


Do you want a Black Mirror episode? Cause this is how you get Black Mirror.

See also: Tales from the De-Crypt-ed


Bad under weird ideal circumstances. When criteria for being a bad guy includes disagreeing with the supreme orange, being a woman, being brown, and a depressing list of other characteristics… then it is just more in the arsenal to suppress and oppress.

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slightly less terrible and stupid than earlier ideas

If US democracy survives past 2020, I believe that will be the platform position of future GOP presidential hopefuls.

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I’d say that this idea deserves the hardest of neofeudal-cyberpunk-dystopia-isn’t-a-compliment nopes for the below:

Nor are we necessarily talking about the customized encryption used by large business enterprises to protect their operations. We are talking about consumer products and services such as messaging, smart phones, e-mail, and voice and data applications.

Aside from the fact that there tends not to be a difference between Lord’s and Gentry encryption and peon encryption(sometimes having an IT department outweighs having legacy systems, sometimes not; but odds are excellent that it’s commodity hardware and software in both cases); anyone who is willing to outright state the “eh, it’s just little people” justification out loud needs to DIAF.


At least having Trump around seems to have woken some people up to this, but still not enough. A lot of people who should have known better still supported Obama and Clinton, despite them having exactly the same position on this. By my reckoning, anyone who thinks they should be trusted with this power shouldn’t be trusted with any more responsibility than night shift manager at 7-11.


After today’s Mueller hearings, I feel like none of this makes a ball of shit’s worth of difference. There is no stopping these people, until or perhaps another election happens. Trump is a demon.

Extra extra read all about it AG Barr Hates Small Business Owners


What about the 2nd? Comedy option: crypto is a munition but I’m above 21

3rd amendment: prism is quartering troops

9th amendment: the crazy catch all

Evidently strong crypto will remain available to authorised criminals.


Slightly less broken software is still broken.