relevance of MTCP email to janet-ip

David Roberts of Leicester seems to have implied that my "Mark
Thomas Comedy Product" email of earlier this week was not relevant
to the list. As no-one has formerly asked the question, I shall ask
and answer it myself.

Martin - Why are you posting this drivel to this serious academic
and research networking forum?

Although the JANET community does not generally consist of profit-
making organisations, many Universities and Colleges in the
community do collaborate with commerce and industry, often in
the European as well as the transatlantic regions. Since the
end of the Cold War, Menwith Hill's functions have allegedly
been moving into commercial spying as part of the UKUSA
agreement in the extended national interests of the two
countries. Clearly this is in itself of serious concern,

The likely appearence of the government's Electronic Commerce
Bill draft bill by Easter of this year, possibly and probably
containing wide-reaching proposals for outlawing strong-crypto,
increasing law enforcement agencies powers of interception of
communications without a warrant from the Home Secretary, and
mandatory crypto key-escrow with so called Trusted Third
Parties. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and
Sun Microsystems have both made formal representations to
Stephen Byers, the new secretary of state for Trade and
Industry following Peter Mandelson's departure earlier in
the year, opposing the key-escrow element of the expected
draft bill, and possibly the strong-crypto element(s) as

As I have said before, any freedom of speech is hard won,
particularly academic freedom of speech. Without getting
too party political here, the present government does
appear to have rather worrying control as well as media
manipulation for propaganda tendencies, and I do not wish
to see this bill go through without proper debate, in view
of the many Members of Parliament struggling to understand
the issues involved.

I understand that there is a rather good web site recommending
the "adoption" of your MP to help them understand these issues
if they do not already. It can be found at

I hope the above goes some way towards explaining the context
for my earlier email.

Martin Cooper
Speaking for myself...