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[FYI] U.S. Officials Try to Sell Encryption Policy in Valley


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6 January 1999

The New York Times, January 16, 1999 

U.S. Officials Try to Sell Encryption Policy in Valley 


CUPERTINO, Calif. -- The Clinton Administration's campaign against
exporting strong secret computer codes took to the road on Friday as
the President's Export Council Subcommittee on Encryption held a
meeting in Silicon Valley to try and build bridges between the
computer industry and the government. 

Little harmony emerged, however, as the industry representatives
turned a cold eye to the Administration's recent proposals and
complained that increased foreign competition was in danger of
surpassing American companies. 

The Administration's campaign to restrict cryptography seemed to lose
momentum this week as some foreign executives suggested that changes
in a new international agreement announced last year might have little
effect in practice. The new rules, which are an diplomatic agreement
between the United States and 32 other Western countries, would
require each country to require special permits before allowing the
export of mass-market software containing encryption. Some executives
now suggest that some countries may simply satisfy this requirement by
issuing blanket permits that do little to contain encryption


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