[cryptography] Interesting Webcrypto question

James A. Donald jamesd at echeque.com
Sun Mar 3 22:17:42 EST 2013

On 2013-03-04 11:09 AM, Patrick Mylund Nielsen wrote:
> Say what you will about the semi-morbid posthumous inflation of Aaron 
> Swartz contributions and stature, but don't pretend to know what he 
> thought

I know what Wallace thought and Wallace was evil, insane, and suicidal.  
Swartz described himself as a die hard fan of Wallace.

> , or whether the prosecution's attempts were "feeble."

Everyone knew that after much drama Swartz was going to be let off, 
after the fashion of Thoreau and the Occupy arrestees.  This dance, 
where the official left charges the official left with crimes against 
the state, then lets them off with a slap on the wrist,  has been 
carried out every couple of years ever since Thoreau, carried out every 
few years for a hundred and sixty years.  Why would Swartz be treated 
differently from all the others?  And then, right in the middle of the 
dance, he kills himself.

There was never the slightest danger that Swartz, official genius, was 
going to do hard time, any more than Thoreau was in any danger of doing 
hard time.

It is government policy, and a perfectly sound, wise and uncontroversial 
government policy, that science should move to open publication.  
Swartz, like Thoreau, was doing the standard official left thing, of 
heroically demanding that the government do what it wants to do anyway 
and is about to do regardless.  The prospect of going to jail for 
criminal acts committed in the course of making such demands is remote.

And, to get back on topic, the prospect of going to jail for having 
encryption script on a web paged accessed from North Korea is remote, 
because the silliness of such laws is widely recognized, though 
unmentionable - which was, I think Peter Gutmann's point.

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