blood-soaked Yugoslav flag. Woidd I have been engaging in politicalrn”speech,” een diough I never uttered a word nor put penrnto paper? Undoubtedly I would hac been, and die courts havernlong recognized that. All they have questioned in recent yearsrnis the extent to which such speech needs to obey customaryrnrules of etiquette, and whether it incites illegal behavior. Justrnwhat is expression, and what is conduct? hi a classic decision ofrnriie 1%0’s, the Supreme Court ruled that a man could wear arnT-shirt bearing a message suggesting, in four-letter words, thernproper fate of the militar)’ draft. Political speech is broadly protected,rnex’cn if it is not verbal.rnThroughout the 20th century, the courts liae also progressivcK’rnextended the ambit of protection to oflicr forms ofrncultvral expression —to novels, poems, and, es, exotic dancingrn—and in the process, the courts have attracted a good deal ofrnpublic derision. Yet flic underlying principles are sound. Justrnas flic First Amendment does not explicifl} mention writing orrnpifl)lishing, it also does not say that free speech must be “speechrnwidi a serious political purpose”; nor, tiiankfully, does it attemptrnto define “political.” If the courts have erred, the mistake hasrnbeen less in extending protected speech to different t’pes ofrncommunication than in a reluctance to recognize new forms ofrnmedia, hi the early days of cinema, the courts decided thatrnnio ies were not an expression of culture bitt a vulgar fairgroundrnto’ which did not deserve even the paltr- protectionrnflien accorded to serious literature. Wlio could take films seriousl’rnas works of art? Not until the 1950’s did flie courts recognizernnioies as serious speech, deserving protection from thernwhims of legislatures, police, and private vigilantes.rnThe example of movies should stand as a warning, for it is uponrnnew forms of communication that cases like that of Erie’srnnude dancers might have a lasting significance. The courtsrnhave been slow to protect speech in the newer media, and arerngenerally willing to accept First Amendment restrictions ostensiblyrnaimed at preventing social harm, even though, as in thernV.x’xe ease, tlie’ acknowledge more or less openh’ that these restrictionsrncould never work.rnTo illustrate this, let us take one of the hottest i.ssues in thernelectronic wodd over the last few ears: encryption. Since thernniid-199()’s, millions of people liac begun using e-mail, whichrnhas become an attractive and convenient means of commimieation.rnYet e-mail remains a disturbinglv public medium intornwhich outsiders are able to snoop. Eniplo crs have the right tornaccess e-mail written on their systems (though not letters writtenrnon paper during work hours), and the courts have usualh’ coneludedrnfliat laws intended to constrain wiretapping do not applyrnto the Internet. This glass-house atmosphere has inevitably encomagedrnpeople to turn to encryption technologies. Thernvirtues of encrvption are obvious, as are die countless lawful cireumstancesrnin vhich people might wish to avoid pring eves. Arncompelling case can also be made that the source code in-rnoled in encryption represents a form of constitutionally protectedrnspeech, since it conveys a message in much the same wayrnthat musical notation does. The more people can use encryption,rndie greater confidence they have in the Internet, and thernbetter the opportunities for commercial de elopment. Privacyrnand free speech enhance the public good.rnYet die sj^read of effective encryption has been delayed by thernprotests of law enforcement agencies, particularly the FBI, whorncite die dangers from terrorism, espionage, drug-dealing, andrnchild pornography. Consequently, the United States hasrnThe Angel’s Versionrnby Brendan GalvinrnWhen he gets bored doing flie flocks,rnall fliat balling up to roll as onernand confuse the falcon, that workingrnin concert, streaming off to a wisp,rnswen’ing as if to avoid some obstaclernmade of air, the shoaling andrnthinning out until each seems a toyrnjerked along on a string over the grass,rnhe’ll do a solitary or two. The dayrnhe did the thistle, for instance,rnhanging it all over with a flowerrnthat resembled what would comernto be called a shaving brush.rnWho else can make suchrnassociations, or bother to calmrna lake in flic north tiiat was troublingrnitself over nothing much, as waterrnsometimes does. Wliat roaringrnin the flesh forge fliat day!rnNo squawks and squalls, sornwe knew this was a big onerndrumming the boards, groaningrnone long mooooo! after anotherrnas he tinkered, making changesrnwith all the time in the world.rnWhen finalh’ he led it out,rnit looked like he’d mixed uprna camel shape with the precociousrnlegs of a quarter horse, evenrnadded the horse’s head,rnonly he’d drawn it down more,rnupper lip over the lower, givenrnmore of a moseying lookrnto the face, and hvisted a deviaprnunder the chin. Maybe I’ll addrnsome horns later, he said,rna nen’ kind I’m thinking about.rnDnink again, Michael whispered,rnbut Uriel kept pointing atrnfliat half-ton and shoutingrnmooon, mooooop, mooooose!rnas flic lifesmith led it intornflic turbid water, which suddenlyrnfell placid and more reflective.rnOCTOBER 2000/1 7rnrnrn