Focusing public attention on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues

Cryptography Policy

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001, there have been renewed calls among some lawmakers for restrictions on the use and availability of strong encryption products. In Congressional floor statements on September 13 and 19, Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) called for a global "new regime" in the area of encryption which would grant law enforcement access to private keys. Sen. Gregg has now stated, however, that he does not intend to introduce a bill to give effect to this proposal. Civil liberties and privacy advocates strongly oppose any attempts to require key escrow, key recovery or other means of accessing encryption keys, arguing that they are an unjustified restriction of individuals' fundamental privacy rights, detrimental to security, costly, subject to massive abuse, and ultimately ineffective crime prevention methods. Technology and security experts also oppose any restricitons on encryption, arguing that they would damage comsumer trust in e-commerce transactions.

Media Coverage of Recent Proposals

Reports on Cryptography Policy

Policy Areas on Cryptography

Other Materials on Cryptography

Links to obtaining cryptography for your own use.