- Cyber-Rights Groups Welcome New Crypto Coalition. EPIC,
the ACLU and EFF have issued a joint
statement on encryption policy, welcoming the creation of the
for Computer Privacy. Meanwhile, Vice President Gore has sent
to Sen. Tom Daschle reiterated the Administration's commitment to
preserving the ability of law enforcement to access the plaintext
of communications and stored data.
- Brief Filed in Crypto Case. EPIC and 14 other parties
have filed an amicus
brief in the Bernstein v. US State Department case
calling export controls of cryptography unconstitutional. A
decision is expected in May 1997.
- Top House Democrats criticize White House Crypto Position.
12 top Democrats, including Minority Leader Richard Gephardt
(D-MO) sent a letter to
President Clinton on April 2 supporting export control
- House Committee Rejects Crypto Restrictions. The House
Commerce Committee on Sept 24 rejected amendments to HR 695 that
would mandate that all encryption systems in the US have a back
door to allow government access. In its place, the Committee
approved a proposal that doubled penalities for crypto use in a
crime and creates a new FBI center for surveillance. The proposed
legislation met widespread opposition from software companies,
liberties and leading
scientific societies. Fax your member
- Declassified House Crypto Briefing.The transcript
of the classified June 26. 1997 briefing for the House
International Relations Committee, including FBI Director Louis
Freeh and NSA Deputy Director William Crowell, obtained by Declan
- Senate Committee Endorses Key-Escrow. In a setback for
efforts to reform U.S. encryption policy, the Senate Commerce
Committee has passed the Secure Public Networks Act, which was introduced
by Sens. Bob Kerrey and John McCain on June 18. The bill contains
a number of coercive measures that would force widespread domestic
adoption of key escrow encryption techniques. Check CNET's coverage for more details.
- Senate Committee Debates Key Escrow Bill. The Senate
Judiciary Committee debated S. 909 and key escrow on July 9. The
FBI pushed for domestic controls on encryption.
- Encryption Bill Advances. The House Judiciary Committee
has approved the SAFE
encryption bill. A provision that would have criminalized the
use of encryption "in furtherance of the commission of a criminal
offense" was substantially narrowed after a broad-based
coalition expressed its concern. See coverage from CNET
and the Washington Post for more details.
- Export Control Bills Introduced. Senators Burns and
Leahy and Rep. Goodlatte have introduced legislation
to relax export controls on encryption software. EPIC testimony
on SAFE legislation.
- Federal Appeals Court Punts on Crypto Case. In a
decision issued on January 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the D.C. Circuit remanded the appeal
of Phil Karn back to the lower court. The appeals court based its
decision on the issuance of new export control regulations
recently promulgated by the Commerce Department. Check out the
brief of EPIC, ACLU, ISOC and USACM in support of Karn's
challenge to crypto export controls.
- Commerce Department Issues Export Regulations for "Key
Recovery" Encryption. The goal is to promote "worldwide key
management infrastructure with the use of key recovery and key
escrow." Read the full
text of the new regulations and check C|NET's coverage for additional info.
- Opposition Grows To Clinton Encryption Export Plan. A
leading software industry group is backing away from its early
support of the Clinton administration's new
encryption policy. In a letter to Vice President Al Gore, the
Business Software Alliance, which includes Microsoft and IBM's
Lotus Development, said that the rules implementing the new
encryption export policy appeared to be flawed. Hardware companies
are also expressing concern.
- New Crypto Directive. President Clinton signed an Executive
Order on November 15 shifting jurisdiction over encryption
export controls from the State Department to the Commerce
Department and giving the FBI new authority over exports. The
White House also released a memorandum
on the changes and a letter
to Congressional leaders.
- Brief in Support of Crypto Rights. EPIC, ACLU, the
Internet Society and USACM have filed a friend
of the court brief in support of Philip Karn's challenge to
U.S. export controls on cryptography.
- Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) has introduced the "Promotion
of Commerce On-Line in the Digital Era (Pro-CODE) Act" --
legislation designed to relax export controls on privacy-enhancing
of EPIC Director Marc Rotenberg on Pro-Code Legislation before US
Senate Commerence Committee, June 1996.
- Earlier in 1996, Senator Leahy introduced the Encrypted
Communications Privacy Act. Read the text of the Senate
bill and EPIC's
analysis of the proposed legislation.
- In the House of Representatives, Rep. Goodlatte has introduced
a companion bill, HR 3011, to relax export controls. 27 House
members have sent a highly
critical letter to the President urging him to support
International Laws and Availability of Encryption
Applied Cryptography Case.The US State Department denied a
request to export a disk version of the classic cryptography text
"Applied Cryptography", after approving export of a printed
version of the book. A U.S. District Court Judge upheld denial.
The case is now being heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals in
Bernstein Case. Professor Daniel Bernstein filed suit against
the State Department asking that the export control laws be struck
down for violating the First Amendment. A U.S. District Court
judge ruled that crypto was speech protected by the First
Amendment. The case is currently pending before the US Court of
Appeals for the 9th Circuit. A decision is expected in May 1998.
- A short essay by Matt Blaze entitled My
Life as an Arms Courier based on his attempt to leave the
country with a Clipper phone.
Return to the EPIC Crypto
Page Last modified: April 14, 1998