Talk:504: Legal Hacks

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 14:16, 1 December 2023 by Wilh3lm (talk | contribs) (2nd amendment wording go brr)
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While RSA is mentioned as a cryptographic mechanism whose "munitions" status was fought over, yours truly considers the whole of PGP's fight (and its original 1st Amendment idea to get around the restrictions) as the archetype of this kind of export battle. Never did get me one of the alleged T-shirts with the souce-code printed on, that were supposed to be going around in 1991-ish, though...

So, anyway, that's something using the 1st Amendment, something using the 2nd Amendment... So how can we theoretically fight the issue via the right not to have soldiers quartered in one's home? ;) 23:39, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Every time I see the 2nd Amendment in text... that one comma. That first comma doesn't belong. I think they were trying to write, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, will always have the right to bear arms" but then they got distracted or changed their mind and just forgot that the comma was there. I'm not usually that much of a grammar nazi, but that's the freaking Constitution! -- 22:41, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

I do admit that the wording would be clearer today, but that is a faulty argument here, for two reasons. First, It was written more than 200 years ago, almost 240, in fact. Unless you have a contemporary grammar, you have no right to be a grammar Nazi with the Constitution. Second, The Constitution was deliberately constructed to be vague, so it might last a little longer than the ten years predicted for it. (Talk about an underestimate) Anonymous 02:54, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
I see the wording as "[Becauase of] A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." i.e. the first half explains why the second half (note that "well-regulated" to them meant "properly trained"). Wilh3lm (talk) 14:16, 1 December 2023 (UTC)

I still don't quite understand this comic. If crypto is classified as a weapon, then people in the USA are free to use it? Why would they not be free to use it today? What does (politicians'?) complacency have to do with all of this?

(On second thought, is this comic referring to the continued attempts of outlawing cryptography? e.g. ) -- 09:51, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

As it says in the comic, the encryption technique was originally classed as a weapon in order to make it illegal to export the technology to other countries. Controlling the use of encryption within the US was going to be difficult due to the First Amendment, but preventing other countries accessing the US developed technology was seen as the most important goal. See here for more detailed explanation. The comic definately addresses the ongoing legal status of encryption technology, but as far any link to Mr Camerons recently reported attacks on encryption, this comic was published in 2008, so no. -- Pudder (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Cameron's was just an example; the attacks have been going on for twenty years, and in most western countries.
Anyway, I'm quite aware of US embargoes, but the the right-to-bear-arms amendment doesn't apply to them. I'm still finding the last panel incomprehensible. (I don't mean to pick on you specifically, but) none of my questions have been answered. -- 11:07, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
After re-reading your comment and the comic, I think I understand where you are coming from. With encryption classed as a weapon, it cannot be exported, but may be used by citizens within the US. Once no longer classified as a weapon, it can still be used by citizens (i.e. nothing has changed as far as use by US citizens is concerned). The issue comes when if the government tries to prevent use of encryption; if classed as a weapon, you can use the "2nd amendment" defence. My guess on the complacency thing is that possibly politicians become complacent in believing that they have the power to 'control' encryption, and may deny use of it if they wanted. Classed as a weapon, suddenly the constitution stands in their way... Which would bring us back to 'outlawing encryption', though Mr Cameron and the UK in general would be another kettle of fish. Its a good question.--Pudder (talk) 13:07, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Re: outlawing cryptography. Governments, including the US one, haven't liked encryption for a long while, as its use will make obtaining evidence much harder if not impossible. The recent talks have been about just outright outlawing it or otherwise weakening it to the point of irrelevance. See for example the clipper chip from 1993, which has a back door specifically built for law enforcement. See also various key disclosure laws.
But this might be irrelevant. I'm looking at this from a too modern angle; few of those laws existed in the 1990s, which is what the comic is referring to.
I think the explanation is missing Megan's point and its effects for the rest of the world; the course of action which she proposes affects the United States alone. And of course, as I've mentioned, I feel that the final panel is halfway unaccounted for in the explanation. -- 10:16, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Does the freedom to speak not also include the freedom to speak privately? You don't HAVE to harbour government agents in your home in the USA do you?

I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 20:29, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Coming back to this in the modern day it's wild to me how 'crypto' has transformed from meaning 'cryptography' to meaning 'crypto(-graphically secured p2p)-currency'. 15:11, 10 September 2023 (UTC)