From: David Banisar <Banisar@epic.org>
Message Hash: 3f8948d656642973caa7c0b277aef85c93a12fd44759aab87fc7b0951e378c17
Message ID: <9406141420.AA25852@Hacker2.cpsr.digex.net>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1994-06-15 18:36:19 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 15 Jun 94 11:36:19 PDT
From: David Banisar <Banisar@epic.org> Date: Wed, 15 Jun 94 11:36:19 PDT To: email@example.com Subject: Brooks Statement on Crypto Message-ID: <9406141420.AA25852@Hacker2.cpsr.digex.net> MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain The following statement by Rep. Jack Brooks (D-TX) was today entered in the Congressional Record and transmitted to the House Intelligence Committee. Rep. Brooks is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and played a key role in the passage of the Computer Security Act of 1987 when he served as Chairman of the House Government Operations Committee. David Sobel <firstname.lastname@example.org> Legal Counsel Electronic Privacy Information Center ============================================================= ENCRYPTION POLICY ENDANGERS U.S. COMPETITIVENESS IN GLOBAL MARKETPLACE For some time now, a debate has been raging in the media and in the halls of Congress over the Administration's intention to require U.S. corporations to use and market the Clipper Chip, an encryption device developed in secret by the National Security Agency. The Clipper Chip will provide industry and others with the ability to encode telephone and computer communications. The use of the Clipper Chip as the U.S. encryption standard is a concept promoted by both the intelligence and law enforcement communities because it is designed with a back door to make it relatively easy for these agencies to listen in on these communications. The law enforcement and intelligence communities have a legitimate concern that advances in technology will make their jobs more difficult. But the issue here is whether attempts to restrict the development, use and export of encryption amounts to closing the barn door after the horse has already escaped. The notion that we can limit encryption is just plain fanciful. Encryption technology is available worldwide -- and will become more available as time goes on. First, generally available software with encryption capabilities is sold within the U.S. at thousands of retail outlets, by mail, even, over the phone. These programs may be transferred abroad in minutes by anyone using a public telephone line and a computer modem. Second, it is estimated that over 200 products from some 22 countries -- including Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, India, and South Africa -- use some form of the encryption that the Government currently prohibits U.S. companies from exporting. According to the May 16, 1994 issue of _Fortune_, not only are U.S. companies willing to purchase foreign encryption devices, American producers of encrypted software are also moving production overseas to escape the current export controls. Third, encryption techniques and technology are well understood throughout the world. Encryption is routinely taught in computer science programs. Text books explain the underlying encryption technology. International organizations have published protocols for implementing high level encryption. Actual implementations of encryption -- programs ready to use by even computer novices -- are on the Internet. The only result of continued U.S. export controls is to threaten the continued preeminence of America's computer software and hardware companies in world markets. These restrictive policies jeopardize the health of American companies, and the jobs and revenues they generate. I support, therefore, the immediate revision of current export controls over encryption devices to comport with the reality of worldwide encryption availability. I believe law enforcement and the intelligence community would be better served by finding real, and targeted ways to deal with international terrorists and criminals rather than promoting scattershot policies, which restrict American industries' ability to design, produce and market technology. Now -- more than ever -- we cannot afford to harm our economic competitiveness and justify it in the name of national security.