If I remember correctly its also not so difficult to take an arbitrary zip file, append some noise so that it becomes prime (and will still decode). So even illegal primes are not difficult.
It's not considered a "number" when society thinks of it in a higher conceptual abstraction than a number. It may sound like tautology and circular reasoning but that's basically it.
A 16-byte number is a range of 0 to 256^16. Can some value within that small range be illegal? Maybe if someone doxxed somebody with GPS coordinates of their house and embedded it in those 16 bytes, they might run in to trouble with the law. Examples:
For larger examples... a 200k jpeg of a child in a porn scene is just a number less than 256^200000. A 2 gigabyte mp4 video file of a copyrighted Marvel Avengers movie is just a number less than 256^2000000000. Can those accused of a crime convince the following groups in society that those are just very large numbers in a mathematical sense:
- police arresting you
- jury convicting you
- judge sentencing you to prison
- employers rejecting your job application after you've served prison time
Which just shows that "number" itself is a conceptual abstraction, no higher or lower than the others.
Totally subjective and differs per person and doesn't have a definitive answer.
And an older one: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16084731
And if it's generally not feasible to do the factoring, what if you distribute the product of an illegal prime number and a non-illegal prime number? The product itself cannot be illegal, as nobody other than its creator could even detect an illegal prime was there, let alone determine its value. That is, unless you made the non-illegal prime number public... which would result in the illegal prime number being public, so it's illegal! You just made a non-illegal prime number illegal by multiplying it by an illegal prime number! How many primes can we illegalise this way?
Information can be encoded as numbers. If possessing that information is illegal, then possessing the number is illegal.
Should child porn be legal when encoded as a decimal number?
What if I compress the same information with 10 different algorithms. Are the 10 hex representation of that file illegal?
I'd think so.
For any nontrivial piece of information, your chances of accidentally hitting any reasonable encoding of it is practically zero.
For example, you can take a revenge porn video and convert it into a number (like you can with ANY digital file). Sharing that number so that people can play the porn video might be illegal. But if that number happened to be used to encode a something else, its not illegal at all.
This is just a rhetorical argument that "information shouldn't be, like, illegal man!"
To me I see no functional difference between a “democratic” rule of law where you are always commuting some infraction and being ruled by a king and subject to his whims.
How do you know if any piece o might actually be an illegal lockpick? Maybe you don't really, but if you have a big box of scrap metal you're not going to be charged with possessing the lockpick, you only get charged after trying to pick a lock with it. Illegal decryption keys are just the same as that.
That's not really true, is it? Instances of simply possessing or intention to share illegal numbers (such as the PS3 encryption keys) have been tried as criminal acts.
. No, the article doesn't list any citations to a criminal suit against someone for sharing PS3 encryption keys. There is a civil lawsuit against someone for distributing PS3 jailbreaking firmware, of which the keys form a part (but not the totality!) of the suit, and even that is only indirectly referenced.