1995-09-07 - Industry Slams Gov’s Encryption Export Plan

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From: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: ca2d17cf76397af3b78be13c10e354f72924324ed537d5053803ad457cfe47be
Message ID: <v02120d06ac74f2a3e1ad@[]>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1995-09-07 19:24:56 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 7 Sep 95 12:24:56 PDT

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From: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 95 12:24:56 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Industry Slams Gov's Encryption Export Plan
Message-ID: <v02120d06ac74f2a3e1ad@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
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Mime-Version: 1.0
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 1995 07:15:48
From: James Rapp <infocker@megaweb.com>
To: www-buyinfo@allegra.att.com, rpournel@hr.house.gov
Subject: Industry Slams Gov's Encryption Export Plan

I was at the 9/6 NIST session and this account is reasonably
accurate.  Even though a seemingly high percentage of
attendees indicated displeasure with current Administration
key escrow proposals, they seem hell bent on this path.
Further, the sense was that industry representatives were
basically invited as a simple window dressing maneuver.

The engaging Whitfield Diffie of Sun Microsystems did an
outstanding job of raising questions about the
Administration's proposal.

Today's session--"Desirable Characteristics for Key Escrow

Jim Rapp, "give me more info"
Alexandria, Virginia

Via Newsbytes, Kennedy Maize 9/6/95 12:00 a.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C., -- The Clinton administration's new proposal
on export controls onencryption in software got a tongue
lashing from the software industry today. The administration's
announcement of a so-called liberalization "suggests that the
government is pursuing a 'son of Clipper' strategy that could
lead to the mandatory use of government designed key escrow
encryption," said Robert Holleyman, president of the Business
Software Alliance.

Speaking at a conference sponsored by the National Institute
of Standards and Technology, Holleyman said the administration
plan to allow export only if the encryption scheme involves
key escrow reveals "a misunderstanding of the marketplace and
unless significantly changed, will prevent key escrow
encryption from ever being commercially adopted."

The White House initiative, Holleyman said, "failed to provide
immediate relief to software companies because it did nothing
to liberalize export controls on generally available software
employing non-key escrow encryption.

"Each delay by the administration in permitting the export of
software with strong encryption capabilities results in lost
sales for American companies," said Holleyman. "Ironically,
foreign software competitors, unconstrained by export
controls, continue to fill this void, with more than
200 foreign encryption programs available from 21 countries."

Under the new administration proposal, software companies that
employ non-key escrow encryption would continue to be limited
to a 40-bit key. Holleyman called for the administration
to immediately permit 56-bit encryption without key escrow,
which he said is the current world

Last year, the administration was pushing a hardware-software
approach to encryption, called the Clipper chip, which would
have employed government-designated escrow agents to hold
keys. Law enforcement agencies would have been able to get
access to the keys from the escrow agents.

Of the administration proposal to loosen controls on key
escrow encryption, Holleyman said that "the administration's
inability to shake off the Clipper mind-set is effectively
precluding the adoption of realistic criteria for commercial
key recovery systems." Holleyman suggested that a
workable system must include strong encryption where users --
in the US and elsewhere -- are able to specify the key holder.

Current administration policy, Holleyman said, is jeopardizing
the "future of the global information infrastructure and
electronic commerce. Instead of paving the roads, the
administration has left in place roadblocks on the information

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Robert Hettinga (rah@shipwright.com)
Shipwright Development Corporation, 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131
USA (617) 323-7923
"Reality is not optional." --Thomas Sowell
>>>>Phree Phil: Email: zldf@clark.net  http://www.netresponse.com/zldf <<<<<