In this third survey of encryption policy around
the globe, the Electronic Privacy Information Center
(EPIC) finds that the effort to reduce export regulations
that limit the availability of encryption has largely
succeeded. The rise of electronic commerce and the need
to protect privacy and increase the security of the
Internet have resulted in the development of policies
that favor the spread of strong encryption worldwide.
However, some countries are considering "lawful
access" requirements that could force users to disclose
private keys and decrypted files to government agencies.
Several governments are also proposing to give
intelligence and law enforcement agencies new powers to
conduct surveillance, break into private offices and hack
computers to obtain encryption keys and other
confidential information. These agencies are also seeking
substantial increases in budgets and legal authority.
While the impact of export controls on the use and
production of encryption continues to diminish, new
domestic regulations and new powers for law enforcement
authorities raise ongoing questions about the freedom to
use encryption and other privacy enhancing