Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

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

6 January 1999 Source:

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 technology.