Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

Fwd: New battle lines being drawn over encryption de

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Sun, 18 Apr 1999 15:58:59 +0200
From:          Peter Kuhm <>
Subject:       Fwd: New battle lines being drawn over encryption debate


Federal Computer Week
-- APRIL 14, 1999 . . . 15:35 EDT

New battle lines being drawn over encryption debate


Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre today fired the first
shot in a new, more acrimonious battle between the Defense
Department and privacy groups over whether the government
should have access to powerful public-key encryption security
tools being used to secure e-mail and other forms of electronic

Speaking at a symposium on "Information Assurance in the
Information Age," sponsored by the Association of the United
States Army and the Association of Old Crows, Hamre said the
department is girding itself for another round of debates on
the subject and accused the nation's "cyberlibertarians" of
forwarding a "fraudulent" debate.

Hamre said privacy groups have created a "false debate" by
claiming that the privacy and civil liberties of Americans are
at stake.

"We're very keen on encryption because DOD operates [over]
public networks for 95 percent of all it does," he said.

He added that DOD must be able to decrypt communications
from criminals such as cyberterrorists who pose a threat to
the nation's critical infrastructure. "What excuse are we going
to give [the American people when] we can't break the codes
fast enough?" Hamre asked.

Public-key infrastructure encryption technology, known as PKI,
is being used in pilot projects across the government and
combines encryption, digital certificates and other technologies
to authenticate a user's identity and to ensure data is not
tampered with during transmission over the Internet.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy
Information Center, called Hamre's remarks a "pre-14th
Amendment" view of protecting the people. Among other
things, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution provides
guarantees against "unreasonable" searches and seizures.

"It is a very odd view to be taking at this point in the debate,"
Rotenberg said. "He should go back and read the history books to get a
better perspective on this issue."


Ohne Worte.