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[FYI] U.S.: Ende der freien Kryptographie?


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Ashcroft proposes vast new surveillance powers

By Kevin Poulsen, SecurityFocus Online

Posted: 10/02/2003 at 08:38 GMT

A sweeping new anti-terrorism bill drafted by the Justice Department 
would dramatically increase government electronic surveillance and 
data collection abilities, and impose the first-ever federal criminal 
penalties for using encryption in the U.S.


The new law against "Unlawful use of encryption" would establish 
prison terms for anyone who "knowingly and willfully uses encryption 
technology to conceal any incriminating communication" relating to a 
federal crime that they're committing, or attempting to commit. 
Offenders would face up to ten years in prison, in addition to the 
jail time the underlying crime carries, if any. A Justice Department 
analysis included with the proposal suggests that the illegal 
encrypting carry a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison.

Similar language has appeared in other government proposals dating 
back to the mid-1990's. But as encryption becomes more integrated 
into everyday Internet use, the idea of establishing a special 
punishment for using crypto borders on the ludicrous, says Tien. "As 
more and more Internet communications use encryption, it's going to 
be the default... It's like saying if you use a payphone you should 
go to jail."


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