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[FYI] USA: Louis J. Freeh (FBI) on Crypto


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7 February 1999
Source: http://www.fbi.gov/congress/freehct2.htm 

Jump to comments on encryption. 

                 The Threat to the United States Posed by Terrorists

                                    Statement for the Record of
                                     Louis J. Freeh, Director
                                  Federal Bureau of Investigation 

                                           Before the
                                       United States Senate
                                   Committee on Appropriations
                 Subcommittee for the Departments of Commerce,
                 Justice, and State,
                                the Judiciary, and Related Agencies

                                         February 4, 1999

Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee. I am
pleased to have this opportunity to join Attorney General Reno and
Secretary of State Albright in discussing the threat to the United
States posed by terrorists both abroad and at home.


Most encryption products manufactured today for use by the general
public are non-recoverable. This means they do not include features
that provide for timely law enforcement access to the plain text of
encrypted communications and computer files that are lawfully seized.
Law enforcement remains in unanimous agreement that the continued
widespread availability and increasing use of strong, non-recoverable
encryption products will soon nullify our effective use of court
authorized electronic surveillance and the execution of lawful search
and seizure warrants. The loss of these capabilities will devastate
our capabilities for fighting crime, preventing acts of terrorism, and
protecting the national security. Recently, discussions with industry
have indicated a willingness to work with law enforcement in meeting
our concerns and assisting in developing a law enforcement
counterencryption capability. I strongly urge the Congress to adopt a
balanced public policy on encryption, one that carefully balances the
legitimate needs of law enforcement to protect our Nation's citizens
and preserve the national security with the needs of individuals. 

The demand for accessing, examining, and analyzing computers and
computer storage media for evidentiary purposes is becoming
increasingly critical to our ability to investigate terrorism, child
pornography, computer-facilitated crimes, and other cases. In the
past, the Subcommittee has supported FBI efforts to establish a data
forensics capability through our Computer Analysis Response Teams.
There is a need to further expand this capability to address a growing
workload. Indeed, our limited capability has created a backlog that
impacts on both investigations and prosecutions. For 2000, the FBI is
requesting 20 positions and $13,835,000 for our cryptanalysis and
network data interception programs and 79 positions and $9,861,000 to
expand our Computer Analysis Response Team capabilities. 


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