Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

Einblicke in U.S.Kypropolitik

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abrufbar -AHH]

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
To:  ,, Subject:       Watch the gov't discuss crypto policy
Friday in Cupertino: PECSENC Date:          Wed, 13 Jan 1999 02:21:45
-0800 From:          John Gilmore <>

PECSENC is a hard-to-parse acronym for the President's Export Council,
Subcommittee on Encryption.  The Council is a group of assorted
citizens appointed by the President of the US under Executive Order
12991 to advise him on US trade issues.  Since crypto policy is so
complex and painful, they pushed it into a subcommittee of its own.
That subcommittee is meeting this Friday at HP in Cupertino.  They
usually meet on the East Coast, far from most people affected by the
crypto regulations, so I thought it would be friendly of us to show up
and welcome them to Silicon Valley.

I will be speaking at the meeting about the Wassenaar Arrangement, but
that isn't why you should come.  You should come because this is one
of the few public fora in which government and selected citizens
actually discuss crypto policy.  Officially, and to advise the

They faxed me 6 pages of maps and directions, but it all boils down
to: Take I-280 to Cupertino, exit on Wolfe Road going north/east, turn
right at the second light on Pruneridge Ave, turn left at the first
light into the HP complex, go 200 feet and turn right at the "T"
intersection, and follow to the last building on the left, Building
46.  Park in the visitor lot in front, register at the reception desk
and get a badge.  The room can hold about 60 people (of which about 30
will be PECSENC and invited speakers.)

There won't be an opportunity to rant, like there was a few years ago
when the National Research Council invited public comments at the CFP
conference.  (Perhaps they'll set one up for a future meeting -- I
think it would be informative for them.)  But it's a chance to see the
alice-in-wonderland workings of the government as they try to
manipulate a supposedly independent advisory group into overlooking
the emperor's nudity.  We may get a chance to make a few short, polite
comments, though they've arranged the agenda so the public gets to
comment *before* the government or the subcommittee says anything
worth commenting about.

Some of the people on the subcommittee should be well known to 

 Stewart Baker, lawyer, ex-General Counsel of NSA, GAK cheerleader
 Kevin McCurley, cryptographer, IBM Research, President of IACR
  (IACR was established by Diffie, Chaum, Rivest, etc in the
   '70s to protect and foster crypto research --
 Esther Dyson, business philosopher & author, EFF, ICANN Interim Chair
 John Liebman, lawyer, author of major export control law tome
   (I'm leaving out ten or twenty people, mostly because the list
    isn't published anywhere online that I can find)

As part of their role in "supporting" the subcommittee's work, the
government has published the driest and least fun-looking "Notice of
Open Meeting" that the law will let them get away with:
However there is a juicier agenda which I received as a speaker:

  We have revised the schedule in light of certain timing constraints.
   So, please note that the private sector discussion of Wassenaar
  will take place in the afternoon.  In addition to John Gilmore,
  PECSENC member Ira Rubenstein will address this topic.  (Lynn
  McNulty of RSA has been asked to offer remarks on RSA's experiences,
  too.)  Also, Whit Diffie will let us know shortly whether he will
  speak before the group.

  Here is the updated agenda:

  [gekuerzt, Volltext siehe URL oben -AHH]