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Fwd: FC: White House moves closer to introducing crypto proposal this week

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>Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 05:22:23 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Declan McCullagh <declan@eff.org>
>Subject: FC: White House moves closer to introducing crypto proposal this week
>Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960925052122.10072C-100000@eff.org>

[We wrote about this in HotWired recently, detailing what the policy 
proposal would look like. Basically it's crafted around the ideas Gore 
outlined in mid-summer. The "two big surprises" mentioned below aren't. 
56-bit symmetric-key crypto is quite Fed-crackable, and the Justice 
Department has been clamoring for a seat at the crypto export-approving 
table for a while. --Declan]



   One step closer to Clipper 3 showdown
   By Alex Lash
   September 24, 1996, 7 p.m. PT

   A long-awaited encryption policy proposal has been sent to President
   Clinton and is awaiting his approval, according to the Under Secretary
   of Commerce for Export Administration William Reinsch.

   Dubbed Clipper 3 by critics, the proposal was authored by a team of
   top-level Cabinet members, including the Secretaries of State,
   Commerce, Treasury, and Defense, the Attorney General, and the
   directors of the CIA and FBI as well as other administration
   officials, Reinsch's office confirmed today.

   The software industry and online rights advocates have been fighting
   to prevent government implementation of a key escrow system, a
   clearinghouse of personal decryption codes, or "keys," which
   government officials insist is necessary for law enforcement purposes
   if the United States is to start exporting strong encryption software.

   What the proposal specifies is still a matter of speculation, but an
   article today in the Daily Report for Executives quotes unnamed U.S.
   officials saying the plan will raise the ceiling on encryption export
   controls, institute a key-escrow system, and give the Commerce
   Department authority to grant export licenses.
   If the report is correct, the two big surprises are a new 56-bit limit
   key length, with export of anything higher subject to key escrow, and
   the authorizing of the Justice Department--most likely the Federal
   Bureau of Investigation--to reject any applications for export
   "The administration always seems to be a bit behind the curve on
   encryption, and they always seem to throw in a new bizarre wrinkle,"
   said David Sobel, legal counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information
   Center. "What does the FBI have to do with export? The FBI is a
   domestic law-enforcement agency."

   The alleged 56-bit limit would only be a slight change from the
   current 40-bit limit. The administration also proposed a scheme in
   August 1995 with an escrow for all keys and a 64-bit limit for
   exported encryption technology. A panel of cryptographic experts,
   including Whitfield Diffie of Sun Microsystems, concluded in January
   that 90-bit encryption was the minimum level necessary for data
   Under Secretary Reinsch would not comment on the key-length or
   jurisdiction details.
   Some analysts believe that the Administration will unveil the proposal
   at this week's conference of the Organization for Economic Cooperation
   and Development (OECD) in Paris. Formulation of encryption policy
   guidelines will be the main agenda for the 28 OECD member states, and
   online privacy advocates are gathering to lobby the delegates toward
   policies that protect individual privacy, said Jerome Thorel, editor
   of Planete Internet, a French magazine devoted to online issues.    
   The OECD meetings take place Thursday and Friday.     

   Sixteen international organizations, including the American Civil  
   Liberties Union, EPIC, and Computer Professionals for Social  
   Responsibility, released a statement at a pre-conference meeting today
   in Paris. The statement called for OECD member states to "resist
   policies that would encourage the developement of communications
   networks designed for surveillance," reported Thorel.





                              25 SEPTEMBER 1996
                                PARIS, FRANCE


WHEREAS the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is
now considering the development of an international policy for the use of

WHEREAS the use of cryptography implicates human rights and matters of
personal liberty that affect individuals around the world;

WHEREAS national governments have already taken steps to detain and to
harass users and developers of cryptography technology;

WHEREAS cryptography is already in use by human rights advocates who face
persecution by their national governments;

WHEREAS the privacy of communication is explicitly protected by Article 12
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 17 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and national law;

WHEREAS cryptography will play an increasingly important role in the ability
of citizens to protect their privacy in the Information Society;

RECOGNIZING that the OECD has made many substantial contributions to the
preservation of human rights and the protection of privacy in particular;

FURTHER RECOGNIZING that decisions about cryptography policy may gives rise
to communication networks that favor privacy or favor surveillance;

FURTHER RECOGNIZING that the promotion of key escrow encryption by
government poses a direct threat to the privacy rights of citizens;

matters of human rights, civil liberty, and personal freedom, have joined
together to

     URGE the OECD to base its cryptography policies on the fundamental
     right of citizens to engage in private communication;

     FURTHER URGE the OECD to resist policies that would encourage the
     development of communication networks designed for surveillance;

     RECOMMEND that the OECD turn its attention to growing public
     concerns about the widespread use of surveillance technologies and
     the implications for Democratic Society and Personal Liberty
     around the world.



   * ALCEI (Electronic Frontiers Italy)

   * American Civil Liberties Union

   * Association des Utilisateurs d'Internet

   * CITADEL-EF France

   * Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

   * cyberPOLIS

   * Digital Citizens Foundation in the Netherlands

   * EFF-Austin

   * Electronic Frontier Australia

   * Electronic Frontier Canada

   * Electronic Privacy Information Center

   * NetAction

   * Privacy International


fight-censorship is at http://www.eff.org/~declan/fight-censorship/

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