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US Congress already discussing bans on strong crypto (fwd)
- To: misc_(_at_)_openbsd_(_dot_)_org
- Subject: US Congress already discussing bans on strong crypto (fwd)
- From: Darren Reed <avalon_(_at_)_cairo_(_dot_)_anu_(_dot_)_edu_(_dot_)_au>
- Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 16:31:46 +1000 (EST)
The key word below is "global".
Congress Mulls Stiff Crypto Laws
By Declan McCullagh (declan_(_at_)_wired_(_dot_)_com)
1:45 p.m. Sep. 13, 2001 PDT
WASHINGTON -- The encryption wars have begun.
For nearly a decade, privacy mavens have been worrying that a
terrorist attack could prompt Congress to ban
communications-scrambling products that frustrate both police wiretaps
and U.S. intelligence agencies.
Tuesday's catastrophe, which shed more blood on American soil than any
event since the Civil War, appears to have started that process.
Some politicians and defense hawks are warning that extremists such as
Osama bin Laden, who U.S. officials say is a crypto-aficionado and the
top suspect in Tuesday's attacks, enjoy unfettered access to
privacy-protecting software and hardware that render their
communications unintelligible to eavesdroppers.
In a floor speech on Thursday, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire)
called for a global prohibition on encryption products without
backdoors for government surveillance.
"This is something that we need international cooperation on and we
need to have movement on in order to get the information that allows
us to anticipate and prevent what occurred in New York and in
Washington," Gregg said, according to a copy of his remarks that an
President Clinton appointed an ambassador-rank official, David Aaron,
to try this approach, but eventually the administration abandoned the
Gregg said encryption makers "have as much at risk as we have at risk
as a nation, and they should understand that as a matter of
citizenship, they have an obligation" to include decryption methods
for government agents. Gregg, who previously headed the appropriations
subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department, said that such access
would only take place with "court oversight."
Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, a hawkish think tank
that has won accolades from all recent Republican presidents, says
that this week's terrorist attacks demonstrate the government must be
able to penetrate communications it intercepts.
"I'm certainly of the view that we need to let the U.S. government
have access to encrypted material under appropriate circumstances and
regulations," says Gaffney, an assistant secretary of defense under