a blog by wallace winfrey

Prosposed Colorado law would outlaw firewalls, encrypting your email


I got this link from the BoingBoing blog, the originating story came from Freedom To Tinker.

Essentially these proposed laws would outlaw encrypting your email, using a firewall or employing anonymizing proxies. I’m not kidding: the crucial part of the proposed Colorado legislation says:

To conceal or assist another to conceal from any communication services provider, or from any lawful authority, the existence or place of origin or destination of any communication that utilizes a communication device.

Encrypting an SMTP exchange involves encrypting the entire message: the from, the to, the subject line, the body. This technically is concealing the origin (sender) of the email from the ISP (aka communication services provider). NAT’s employed in firewalls (like the one built into my 3Com ISDN lan modem) also conceal the origin of originating workstations. It goes without saying that the whole purpose of an anonymizing service (like is to conceal the origin.

I’m not quite sure what to make of this one — part of me is SCREAMING it can’t happen here, I don’t understand this, this is ludicrous.

Let’s see now: applying the RFC2487 patch to Qmail will make me guilty of a felony ? Jesus — did we just lose a war or something? I’ve gotten paid to apply this patch. I mention in staff meetings the benevolence of encryption, firewalls and security, and the cowboys nod without question! And now they are proposing to make it illegal?

Has the whole world gone crazy?!?

One Comment

  1. Robi
    03.30.2003 at 12:57

    Its about time you updated this site man. Its been a month… lets see some updates on the hair cut…