1993-04-23 - HOUSE: Wiretap Support from Markey (D-Mass)

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From: Matthew J Miszewski <MJMISKI@macc.wisc.edu>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 8d099f569dff5c2a5b7f4c508312a44ecf4431ec997f80fdc8dd4f5382adfa2b
Message ID: <23042223002970@vms2.macc.wisc.edu>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-04-23 04:01:08 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 22 Apr 93 21:01:08 PDT

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From: Matthew J Miszewski <MJMISKI@macc.wisc.edu>
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 93 21:01:08 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: HOUSE: Wiretap Support from Markey (D-Mass)
Message-ID: <23042223002970@vms2.macc.wisc.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Here it is:  Couldn't remember if the first two articles had been posted but
I figured Eric could ftp them even if they were.  The 3rd article is the
one about Rep. Markey.  Ill find his vital info ASAP.
                              Communications Daily
                             April 19, 1993, Monday
Vol. 13, No. 74; Pg. 2
Clinton Sets Policy Review
   Clinton Administration Fri. announced sweeping policy directive designed to
protect privacy of voice and data transmissions using govt.-developed encryption
technology that ensures law enforcement agencies will have ability to eavesdrop.
Encyrption is achieved through use of " Clipper Chip"  that will be built into
telephones, computers, fax machines. Although govt. will adopt new chip as its
standard, use in private sector will be on voluntary basis.
   AT&T Fri. became first company to announce publicly support of  Clipper
 Chip.  "We believe it will give our customers far greater protection in
defeating hackers or eavesdroppers in attempting to intercept a call," said AT&T
Vp Secure Communications Systems Edward Hickey. Govt. already has purchased some
evaluation units from AT&T with  Clipper Chip  installed, said Raymond Kramer,
acting dir. of National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST). Govt.
expects to purchase "well over the thousands" of such  Clipper Chip  units, he
said, but he couldn't give figures for how many it might buy from AT&T. AT&T
spokesman said products with  Clipper Chip  included will be available
commercially in 2nd quarter.
   President Clinton Thurs. signed Top Secret National Security Directive
outlining details of privacy and encryption policy review. Review will bring
together industry and govt. experts under direction of National Security Council
in attempt to resolve long-running controversy on right of businesses and
citizens to protect all forms of communication and govt. right to conduct lawful
investigations. Review will take 3-4 months, NIST's Kramer said.
   Law enforcement agencies are concerned about rising popularity of digital
encryption methods. Multinational businesses, worried about economic espionage,
increasingly are incorporating encryption technology for all communications. Law
enforcement agencies have voiced growing concern that if they don't move quickly
to enact laws assuring them access to encrypted and digital communications, they
will be at decided disadvantage in attempting to thwart criminal acts. FBI
spokesman James Kallstrom acknowledged that "not many" criminals today are using
encryption to skirt law, but putting methods in place now to assure means of
intercepting such communications "is vital" to law enforcement's mission.
   Encryption program will be available to any vendor that wants to manufacture
chips, Kramer said. However, company that developed and designed chip under
sole-source contract from National Security Agency (NSA) -- Mykotronx, Torrance,
Cal. -- has solid lead on market. Kramer acknowledged job was handed to it with
NSA's full approval of noncompetitive bid contract. He defended noncompetition
aspect: "We went out and found the only company capable of delivering this
technology." He said govt. has been using  Clipper Chip  technology for "a
while now in classified applications," but declined to say how long it had been
in use before White House announcement.
   Each chip will have 3 unique "keys" issued to it. When manufactured, 2 of
those keys will be sent to govt. and will be held by "escrow agents." For law
enforcement agency to be able descramble transmissions, it first must get court
order that allows keys held in escrow to be released. Only when those keys are
used in tandem can law enforcement agencies unscramble codes and listen in on
conversations. Attorney Gen.'s office will "make all arrangements with
appropriate entities to hold keys," White House said. Those escrow keys could be
held by private organizations, govt. agencies or others, Kramer said. But only 2
entities will be chosen and will be responsible for administering data base that
will store keys. Attorney Gen.'s office is expected to select escrow key holders
"within a couple of weeks," Kramer said.
   Plan already is drawing fire from civil liberties groups and privacy
advocates. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said White House acted "before
any public comment or discussion has been allowed." It said Administration will
use "its leverage to get all telephone equipment vendors to adopt" technology.
EFF criticized govt.'s sole-source contract, saying there may be other companies
that have better encryption technology, and because encryption algorithm is
classified, it can't be tested. "The public will only have confidence in the
security of a standard that is open to independent, expert scrutiny," EFF said.
Privacy experts are concerned that because  Clipper Chip  was developed under
NSA contract, it might have "backdoor" known only to NSA that would allow agency
to crack code and bypass court order. Kramer disagreed: "There is positively no
backdoor to this technology."
   Because use of  Clipper Chip  is entirely voluntary, businesses and private
users -- including criminals -- are free to choose other means of encryption,
leaving govt. and law enforcement agencies with dilemma they now face. FBI's
Kallstrom acknowledged criminals still could thwart investigations if they used
non- Clipper Chip  products, "but most criminals aren't so smart."
   Ability of govt. to eavesdrop on  Clipper Chip -equipped devices still
doesn't solve broader problem: Ability to wiretap conversations moving across
digital telecommunications lines. That problem is being addressed separately by
FBI's controversial digital wiretap legislation that has failed to find
congressional sponsor and is languishing in Justice Dept., waiting for support
of Attorney Gen.
                                 April 19, 1993
    The Clinton administration is attempting to balance privacy concerns with
law enforcement agencies' ability to eavesdrop on phone conversations and data
transmissions. Last week, government engineers revealed they have developed a
" Clipper Chip"  that can be placed in ordinary phones to encrypt phone
communications. Each device containing the chip will have two unique "key"
devices that together can decode those communications. One key will be held by a
government agency and one by a private organization. Law enforcement officials
would need warrants to obtain the keys. The Justice Department plans to purchase
several thousand chips, and AT&T immediately announced it will use Clipper in
all of its secure communications products.
                              Communications Daily
                            April 20, 1993, Tuesday
Vol. 13, No. 75; Pg. 7
   House Telecom Subcommittee Chmn. Markey (D-Mass.) has expressed reservations
about govt. use of  Clipper Chip,  encrypted technology that secures
transmissions (CD April 19 p2). Markey wrote to Commerce Secy. Ronald Brown
asking whether use of technology could lead to "inadvertently increase[d] costs
to those U.S. companies hoping to serve both" govt. and private markets. Chip
would be mandatory for govt. use, but optional for private sector, although
companies might find greater proprietary need to protect data than govt. Markey
asked Brown response to 6 questions: (1) Has algorithm been tested by any entity
besides National Security Agency, National Institute of Standards & Technology
or vendor supplying chip? (2) Who would hold "key" to descrambling data? (3)
Does algorithm have "trap door" or "back door" that could allow someone to crack
code? (4) How well would encryption devices adapt to rapidly changing
telecommunications technology? (5) What would chip cost federal govt.? (6) What
is Commerce Dept. assessment on cost to U.S. exporters of computer and
telecommunications hardware and software. Markey said he wanted answers by April
   National Assn. of State Utility Consumer Advocates opens 2-day conference
April 22 on "Telecommunications 2000: What's at Stake for Consumers in the Next
Century?" at Rayburn House Office Bldg., Rm. 2168. Rep. Markey (D-Mass.) will
speak. Vice President Gore is invited luncheon speaker. Three-member panels
Thurs. include: 9:30 a.m. -- National Telecommunications Infrastructure, with
former Rep. Tauke (R-Ia.), now Nynex govt. affairs vp. 11 a.m. -- Funding
Advanced Networks, with Bell Atlantic Federal Relations Exec. Dir. Edward
Lowery. 3:30 p.m. -- New Technologies, with Bell Atlantic Information Services
Exec. Dir. Steven Craddock.
     [I know we missed Thursday but can some suits make it tomorrow?]
   MultiLink has developed software quality assurance package for its
audioconferencing bridge known as System 70. Equipment assures multipoint
teleconferences will work through simulator that generates Dual Tone
MultiFrequency signals to test 2-way digitized messages over telephone lines,
company said.
      [For those interested in DTMF stuff (I know its an aside)]
   Ill. Bell has begun offering Call Trace for $4 per successful trace to 56
Chicago area communities. Customers would dial *57, preserving number for Bell's
Annoyance Call Bureau or police authorities, although users wouldn't see it
directly. Unlike Caller ID, offer is available only on per-call basis.