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.
- Senator Backs Off Backdoors, by Declan McCullagh, Wired News, Oct. 17, 2001
- New Encryption Laws for E-Mail Unlikely, by Carrie Kirby, San Francisco Chronicle, October 6, 2001
- Techies Urge Senator To Drop Encryption Key Plan, by Brian Krebs, Newsbytes, Sept. 27, 2001
- Experts Say Encryption Can't be Limited, A Setback for Lawmakers Seeking Change, by Lee Gomes, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 26, 2001
- Opening Encryption `Back Door' is Problematic, Experts Say, Reuters, Sept. 25, 2001
- Disputes on Electronic Message Encryption Take On New Urgency, by John Schwartz, New York Times, Sept. 25, 2001
- Lawmaker, Lobbyist at Odds Over Encryption Legislation, by Bara Vaida, National Journal's Technology Daily, Sept. 24, 2001
- Bin Laden, Associates Elude Spy Agency's Eavesdropping, by Scott Shane, Baltimore Sun, Sept. 16, 2001
- Congress Mulls Stiff Crypto Laws, by Declan McCullagh, Wired News, Sept. 13, 2001
- EPIC, Cryptography & Liberty 2000: An International Survey of Encryption Policy.
- 'The Risks of Key Recovery, Key Escrow and Trusted Third-Party Encryption', a Report by Cryptography Experts (May 1998)
- Solveig Singleton, Cato Institute, Encryption Policy for the 21st Century: A Future without Government-Prescribed Key Recovery (November 1998)
- National Research Council, Cryptography's Role in Securing the Information Society (May 1996), NRC press release -- overview and recommendations -- full text of report.
- A. Michael Froomkin, The Metaphor is the Key: Cryptography, the Clipper Chip and the Constitution, The University of Pennsylvania Law Review (January 1995).
- Office of Technology Assessment, Information Security and Privacy in Network Environments (September 1994).
- Association for Computing Machinery, Codes, Keys and Conflicts (June 1994).
- Lance Hoffman et al., Cryptography: Policy and Technology Trends (January 1994).
- General Accounting Office, Communications Privacy: Federal Policy and Actions (November 1993).
- Banning Cryptography. U.S. Government efforts to restrict use of cryptography.
- The Clipper Chip. Information on the 1993 US Government computer chip with a back door for easy surveillance.
- The Computer Security Act of 1987. Information on the law that regulates who protects computer systems and developed cryptography in the US Government.
- Digital Signatures.
- Export Controls.
- International Cryptography Policy.
- Key Escrow (Government-proposed alternatives to Clipper including "key management" and "key recovery")
- OECD Cryptography Policy Guidelines. Information about the recent recommendations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development concerning cryptography policy.
Links to obtaining cryptography for your own use.
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Communications Law and Policy
Jerry Kang and Alan Butler