1994-02-20 - Clipper fact sheet with analysis

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From: nobody@shell.portal.com
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 0d9644827482fe6b03a61d7546ea4af0d72d442f80a03f1bb1e610f900c7bb87
Message ID: <199402201925.LAA01099@jobe.shell.portal.com>
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UTC Datetime: 1994-02-20 19:27:00 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 20 Feb 94 11:27:00 PST

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From: nobody@shell.portal.com
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 94 11:27:00 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Clipper fact sheet with analysis
Message-ID: <199402201925.LAA01099@jobe.shell.portal.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

White House fact sheet, with analysis.
Repost me!

>Note:     The following was released by the White House today in
>          conjunction with the announcement of the Clipper Chip
>          encryption technology.

>                           FACT SHEET

>The President has approved a directive on "Public Encryption
>Management."  The directive provides for the following:

The President, acting on advice from the Spooks, has decided to
wiretap everyone's communications now, while it is still possible.

>Advanced telecommunications and commercially available encryption
>are part of a wave of new computer and communications technology.
>Encryption products scramble information to protect the privacy of
>communications and data by preventing unauthorized access.
>Advanced telecommunications systems use digital technology to
>rapidly and precisely handle a high volume of communications.
>These advanced telecommunications systems are integral to the
>infrastructure needed to ensure economic competitiveness in the
>information age.

Al Gore loves the wonders of technology.

>Despite its benefits, new communications technology can also
>frustrate lawful government electronic surveillance.  

The feds are having a hard time tapping your phone.

>encryption can have this effect in the United States.  

The FBI can't break the new codes people have invented.

>exported abroad, it can be used to thwart foreign intelligence
>activities critical to our national interests.  

Neither can the NSA.

>In the past, it has
>been possible to preserve a government capability to conduct
>electronic surveillance in furtherance of legitimate law
>enforcement and national security interests, while at the same time
>protecting the privacy and civil liberties of all citizens.  

The NSA could break DES, and citizens weren't using crypto anyway.

>As encryption technology improves, doing so will require new,
>innovative approaches.

DES is obsolete, and the NSA can't break the new ciphers which are
going to replace it. So we have to build in the wiretaps up front.

>In the area of communications encryption, the U. S. Government has
>developed a microcircuit that not only provides privacy through
>encryption that is substantially more robust than the current
>government standard, but also permits escrowing of the keys needed
>to unlock the encryption.  

The NSA built an encryption chip with a built-in wiretap.

>The system for the escrowing of keys
>will allow the government to gain access to encrypted information
>only with appropriate legal authorization.

The government will keep the keys and use them to wiretap people.
But only when it's legal. We promise. Trust us.

>To assist law enforcement and other government agencies to collect
>and decrypt, under legal authority, electronically transmitted
>information, I hereby direct the following action to be taken:

To make sure we can still wiretap you, this is what we are going to do:


>The Attorney General of the United States, or her representative,
>shall request manufacturers of communications hardware which
>incorporates encryption to install the U.S. government-developed
>key-escrow microcircuits in their products.  

All telephone companies will be coerced into using the Clipper chip.
Those who do not will be harassed, denied government contracts, and
forbidden to export their products. If this doesn't work, we might
have to resort to more forceful tactics.

>The fact of law
>enforcement access to the escrowed keys will not be concealed from
>the American public.  

We will tell them their phones might be tapped, but not when.

>All appropriate steps shall be taken to
>ensure that any existing or future versions of the key-escrow
>microcircuit are made widely available to U.S. communications
>hardware manufacturers, consistent with the need to ensure the
>security of the key-escrow system.  

We will give them the chips, as long as they use them the way we
tell them to use them. But we won't tell them how the chips work.

>In making this decision, I do
>not intend to prevent the private sector from developing, or the
>government from approving, other microcircuits or algorithms that
>are equally effective in assuring both privacy and a secure key-
>escrow system.

Companies are free to design their own encryption systems, as long
as they have wiretaps built into them.


>The Attorney General shall make all arrangements with appropriate
>entities to hold the keys for the key-escrow microcircuits
>installed in communications equipment.  

The Attorney General shall make sure keys are available when we want
to wiretap people.

>In each case, the key
>holder must agree to strict security procedures to prevent
>unauthorized release of the keys.  The keys shall be released only
>to government agencies that have established their authority to
>acquire the content of those communications that have been
>encrypted by devices containing the microcircuits.  

The escrow keys shall be released to any agency which comes up with a
credible excuse to request them.

>The Attorney
>General shall review for legal sufficiency the procedures by which
>an agency establishes its authority to acquire the content of such

The Attorney General shall make sure there are no legal loopholes which
might allow someone to invalidate evidence from a Clipper wiretap.


>The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with other appropriate
>U.S. agencies, shall initiate a process to write standards to
>facilitate the procurement and use of encryption devices fitted
>with key-escrow microcircuits in federal communications systems
>that process sensitive but unclassified information.  I expect this
>process to proceed on a schedule that will permit promulgation of
>a final standard within six months of this directive.

The government will start buying lots of Clipper chips immediately to
make sure there is a market for them. We need to get this off the ground
before any opposition or alternatives arise.

>The Attorney General will procure and utilize encryption devices to
>the extent needed to preserve the government's ability to conduct
>lawful electronic surveillance and to fulfill the need for secure
>law enforcement communications.  

The Attorney General will make sure plenty of LEAF decoders are available
to wiretap people, and the cops will use Clipper chips so people with 
scanners can't listen in on them. This will also create a bigger market 
for Clipper chips.

>Further, the Attorney General
>shall utilize funds from the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture
>Super Surplus Fund to effect this purchase.

The Attorney General will use money stolen from alleged criminals to
buy Clipper chips and wiretapping devices. The more phones we tap, the
more criminals we catch, the more property we seize, the more money we
have for law enforcement to tap more phones...