Sink the Clipper!

\small Modular exponentiation and the computational complexity of factoring large numbers

© 1994 Stephen Savitzky CC-by-nc-sa

Lyrics [pdf]

A D A
Now  some folks think all your secrets should  be exposed to  view,
D A E7 Esus4 E7
Like  what you read, and  what you think, and  who's in bed  with  who.
D A Asus4 A Asus2 A
  Now they've built a chip called  Clipper to  help  them  tap your  phone,
D A E7 Esus4 E7
And  read the private  e-mail, that's  meant for you  alone .
D A
They  say they're after terrorists and  child pornography;
E7 A E7
They  say they'll get a search warrant bef ore they steal your  key.
DA D G D
They  say it's volunt ary; and if  you believe that  tale
G D G A D
hope you brought your  checkbook 'cause I  have a  bridge for  sale
DA D G D A D G D A D
  Sink the Clip per! Keeping  secr ets  keeps us  free. They can  have  my  private  key
G D A DA D
When they  pry it from my  cold dead fingers'  grip.  Sink the Clip per!
G D A D G D A D G D A D
You can  tell  the  NS A, the FB and the  CI A Just  where the hell to  shove that  Clipper  chip...
But with simple mathematics you can make a pair of keys;
Each unlocks the others' messages; it's easy as can be.
Just keep one tightly guarded, spread the other far and wide,
And not even nosy bureaucrats can read what you can hide.
If I want to send a message that is only meant for you,
I encrypt it with your public key and send the message through.
Your private key unlocks it, then you use my public key
To prove my private signature has damned well come from me.
\spoken{\quotation{
Now, the next verse would have had the algorithm in it, but if I did that I'd get into trouble, and besides it's already been written, so I'll give you the links instead. If you're in the US you can FTP Phil Zimmermann's Pretty Good Privacy from soda.berkeley.edu or buy a commercial version from Viacrypt. Don't ship it over the border, though, or they'll bust your ass for exporting munitions without a license. That's gun running, folks. I'm not making this up.
}}
\spoken{\quotation{
So if you're outside the US, you can get it from ftp.demon.co.uk. If you're in the US, though, don't touch it, or Public Key Partners will sue your ass for infringing their patent on the RSA algorithm, in spite of the fact that algorithms aren't supposed to be patentable.
}}
\spoken{\quotation{
Get all that? Hope you encrypted it; there'll be a raid right after this set.
}}
So put no faith in governments, for that's how freedom ends;
Trust proven mathematics, large numbers and your friends.
And tell no living soul the words that guard your private key;
Kick the cops off your computer using strong crypytography.
'Cause you wouldn't give the local cops the key to your front door;
Your thoughts are much more personal, so guard them all the more.
If they ask you for your private key then tell them where to go,
And if they offer you a Clipper chip then Just--Say--No!
refrain/coda
DA G D A
Get the  Clipper Chip and the  NSA, The  FBI and the  CIA
G D G D A
Packed  off to Davey  Jones today-- Remember keeping  secrets keeps us  free;
G A D
And we'll-- sink--the  Clipper--in the  sea.

The ``cold dead fingers'' quote is from John Perry Barlow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.