1995-07-16 - A Chronology on crypto bans

Header Data

From: banisar@epic.org (Dave Banisar)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 911accda12bb31427e9f0542edf23059a1977684c6ced91be9da3d22bc2bc295
Message ID: <v01520d00ac2f1c6c99eb@[]>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1995-07-16 20:05:20 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 16 Jul 95 13:05:20 PDT

Raw message

From: banisar@epic.org (Dave Banisar)
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 95 13:05:20 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: A Chronology on crypto bans
Message-ID: <v01520d00ac2f1c6c99eb@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Someone asked why is there such a flurry recently on banning crypto in
recent months. This is not a recent issue. There have been almost non-stop
attempts for the last 15 years.

I've been finishing up this chapter in the book Bruce Schneier and I are
writing on crypto battles. Every so often a new FOIA document floats in
from some request I made 3-4 years ago hat makes me have to revise it
again. Here
s a small chronology based on the chapter.


Attempts to ban encprytion 1977-1995

1977-1980 NSA Director Inman calls crypto born secret. Should be restricted.
Attempts to use Invention Secrecy Act of 1951 to patent inventions by
academic researchers. Attempts to use export control laws to limit
scientific discussion.
NSA Threates NSF over grants for crypto studies.

1981 American Council on Education committee recommends voluntary
submissions of cryto papers to NSA

1984 National Security Decision Directive 145. Gave NSA authority over all
govt crypto and computer security development.

1986 NSTISSP. Attempted to extend NSDD-145 to private sector. USe to
justify visits to LEXIS/NEXIS, Dialog, public libraries etc.

1987 Congress passes Computer Security Act. Gives crypto authority to NIST.

1989 NIST signs MOU with NSA giving back authority to NSA.  NIST starts
development of new public key system to do both signatures and key

1990 After pressure by NSA. NIST adopts El Gamal for signatures only. NSA
secreatly designs "algorithm on a chip" for key exchange. FBI, NSA and NIST
also begin "National Cryptgraphic Review".

1991 FBI asks Senator Joseph Biden to introduce "Sense of Congress" to
recommend backdoors in all encpryption, telephone systems. Provision
removed after public outcry. Later evolves into digital telephony proposal.
October 1991, NSA, FBI, CIA meet to discuss possible legislation on

1992 NIST memo - "FBI working on draft legislation to control and liscense
all cryptography"

1993 Clipper Proposal introduced. Interagency working group formed by
Presidential Review Directive 27. According to NSA memo on IWG "FBI
proposed legislation to authorize the FCC to regulate common carriers, PBX
operators, and  manufacturers of encryption devices available for use in
the US  to ensure such systems and devices are compatable with law
enforcement electronic surveillance interests....the interagency working
group revied proposed legislation and concluded that ....legislation to
authorize regulation of encryption product manufacturers would be
considerably more difficult [than passing the digital telephone proposal]
and required further study." 6 options were discussed including prohobiting
all other encprytion besides Clipper. The other five have been classified
"top secret".



David Banisar (Banisar@epic.org)       * 202-544-9240 (tel)
Electronic Privacy Information Center  * 202-547-5482 (fax)
666 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 301    * ftp/gopher/wais cpsr.org
Washington, DC 20003                  * HTTP://epic.digicash.com/epic