A couple of days ago we discussed a CNet article on the tech voting record of Joe Biden, Barack Obama's running mate. Philip Zimmermann, who was mentioned in that piece, sends the following note to set the record straight. "In his 23 August opinion piece in CNet, Declan McCullagh wrote on Joe Biden's suitability as the Democratic VP nominee, Declan quotes me, creating the impression I criticized Biden for some legislation that Biden introduced in 1991. Declan's quote from me is out of context because it does not make it clear that I never mentioned Biden in my original quote at all when I wrote about Senate Bill 266. Second, Declan's quote is drawn from remarks I wrote in 1999. Declan seems to be trying to draft me in his opposition to Biden, and, by extension, makes it seem as if I am against the Democratic ticket. I take issue with this." Read below for the rest of Phil's comments.
When someone serves in the Senate for 30 years, we have to judge them by their whole body of work. Much has happened since 1991. I don't know what Biden's position would be today on the issue of encryption, but I would imagine it has changed, because I can't think of any politicians today who would try to roll back our hard-won gains in our right to use strong crypto. In fact, considering the disastrous erosion in our privacy and civil liberties under the current administration, I feel positively nostalgic about Biden's quaint little non-binding resolution of 1991.
Declan's article seems to imply that I would prefer McCain over the Democratic ticket. But McCain's stated policies on wiretapping, the Patriot Act and other policies that undermine privacy and civil liberties are a seamless continuation on the current administration's policies.