Fun_People Archive
29 Mar
Clipper spin-off technologies

Date: Tue, 29 Mar 94 16:51:35 PST
To: Fun_People
Subject: Clipper spin-off technologies

Forwarded-by: "" <>


Washington (DPI) -- With the Clinton administration's energetic promotion
of the "Clipper" encryption chip, and all the controversy surrounding that
technology, Washington is now looking for ways to "spin off" clipper
technologies and make them separately available.  Details on two key
proposals have become available:

  CLIPPER CARS -- Will not exceed 55 MPH except as posted.  Private
  citizens need not use this car, but it will be required for all
  government-related trips and also for drivers license road tests.
  ``Since criminals will now only go 55mph, tops, high speed chases
  will be a thing of the past'', said one law enforcement official.
  Police will also be issued special keys that allow them to
  comandeer any Clipper car and drive it at any speed.  To maintain
  security, all Clipper cars will be equipped with locks made by a
  selected supplier and the locks will self-destruct if tampered
  with.  Locksmiths, however, object that since the government
  won't release the design, they can't say how easy it will be to
  pick the locsk.  ``For all we know'', said one lock industry
  observer, ``there's a built-in master tumber set and anybody
  could use it to take your car on a joy ride -- or worse''.  The
  administration, however, denied this and said that secrecy was
  necessary to prevent ``tampering''.

  CLIPPER PIPES -- Can only be used to smoke legal tobacco.  The
  Clipper pipe detects when it is being used to smoke anything else
  and stops working.  Use of the Clipper pipe is not required, but
  all new pipes sold in the U.S. in lots of more than 500 must be
  Clipper-equipped.  ``Yes, the $350 smoke analyzer will raise
  costs, somewhat,'' admitted one official, ``but our ability to
  get transponder keys from escrow, in an easy, timely yet safe
  way will help greatly with law enforcement''.  But will criminals
  simply switch to some other way of smoking?  Already the American
  Tobacco Lobby has complained that only joints and bongs, not the
  ordinary pipes, are used in consuming dangerous illegal drugs.
  The ACLU has joined in the fight, saying they are fundamentally
  opposed to all kinds of smoking, but that the access to remote
  sensing opens up new room for privacy abuses.  In a televised
  speech, Clinton declared that these were not problems;  that
  law-abiding citizens wouldn't see a change in their daily habits
  because ``law-abiding citzens wouldn't inhale, anyway''.

[=] © 1994 Peter Langston []