A Subject Near and Dear to My Heart

Before I got involved in gun rights, my primary civil liberty concern was laws governing the free flow of information, including overly broad intellectual property regimes, and restrictions on encryption technology, among them. Joe Huffman has some interesting observations about encryption and mobile communications. There are countries which ban encryption technology, and historically in this country there have been attempts to restrict its use, such as by providing the government with backdoor keys. Back when I was into this issue, France banned encryption entirely, but they lifted that in 1999, as the technology became pervasive. These days most of the regimes who restrict encryption are repressive, and their reasons for doing so obvious.

Encryption is an important tool for the citizen militia. It’s something gun owners should definitely care about. Part of the reason I started caring more about the Second Amendment rather than information restriction is because there was a ready made base of supports of the former who understood politics well enough to be a force. The geeky nerdy types don’t really get the political process as well as gun owners. If you think organizing gun owners is like herding cats, you haven’t seen anything if you haven’t worked with technology people. I think part of the problem is technology people tend to get wrapped up in ideas too much to think about how to implement those ideas in a highly imperfect political system.

But still, there are groups out there like EFF, who just won a very important victory for jailbreakers. This is very important for me since I have both of Steve Job’s walled garden devices. Jailbreaking should not be a crime. If I want to take a bite of the Apple, and cast myself out from the Garden of Steven, I ought to be able to without having to worry about grief from the feds. By the same token, Apple ought to be free to try to technologically keep me within the garden walls, but the only legal action they ought to be permitted to take is invalidating my warranty.