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EFF "Privacy - Crypto - Pro-CODE, ECPA-2 & SAFE (`96-7 Crypto Legislation)" Archive

Last Updated Thu Mar 13 10:42:49 PDT 2003

For 1997 information on the Bernstein case and other litigation against crypto export controls, see each case's archive under http://www.eff.org/pub/Legal/Cases

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Statement on cryptographic technology and the Internet, from Internet Architecture Board and Internet Engineering Steering Group of the Internet Society (ISOC). Excerpt: "The IAB and IESG are...disturbed to note that various governments have actual or proposed policies on access to cryptographic technology that either: (a) impose restrictions by implementing export controls; and/or (b) restrict commercial and private users to weak and inadequate mechanisms such as short cryptographic keys; and/or (c) mandate that private decryption keys should be in the hands of the government or of some other third party; and/or (d) prohibit the use of cryptology entirely, or permit it only to specially authorized organizations."
Sen. Burns (sponsor of the Pro-CODE crypto export deregulation bill) announces opposition to Clipper III, and criticizes Administration export policy.
1996 version of Rep. Goodlatte's pro-encryption legislation, "The Security and Freedom through Encryption Act" (SAFE). Did not pass.
1997 version of Rep. Goodlatte's formerly pro-encryption legislation, "The Security and Freedom through Encryption Act" (SAFE), as introduced. NOTE: As of Sept. 1997, the bill was "amended" by replacing all of it with a Big Brother anti-encryption bill.
Amendment to HR659 (the "SAFE" formerly pro-crypto bill) in which Reps. Weldon and Dellums gut the bill's liberalization of export controls on encryption, and give the Dept. of Defense new authority to deny export licenses. Sept. 1997.
Amendment to HR659 (the "SAFE" formerly pro-crypto bill already weakened by the House National Security Cmte.), in which Reps. Goss and Dicks strip the bill of everything good that it would have done, and replace it with Orwellian provisions for increased export controls, new import controls, and mandatory key surrender. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Sept. 1997.
Letter from Rep. Goodlatte (and over 20 other Representatives) to Clinton Administration urging relaxation of crypto export controls and abandonment of Clipper III "key escrow" proposals. Also includes Goodlatte press release regarding the letter.
Brief EFF statement on the House letter to Clinton demanding abandonment of "key escrow" and urging relaxation of export controls. (Also includes a copy of the letter).
Sen. Burns' May 2, 1996, encryption export deregulation bill. As with the ECPA-2 bill, co-sponsored by Leahy. This bill, known as the Pro-CODE bill, is the most pro-privacy, pro-commerce, pro-Net bill to day, and essentially supercedes the ECPA-2 and SAFE bills (stronger prohibition against forced key escrow, better export dereg, and does not create a new crime.) Need some final tweaking, but all in all a very solid piece of privacy legislation.
EFF statement on S.1726, the Burns-sponsored Pro-CODE crypto deregulation bill, on the advent of the Golden Key encryption freedom campaign, and on the formation of the Internet Privacy Coalition.
Sen. Burns' press release regarding his new encryption export deregulation bill.
Sen. Leahy's on a roll: Leahy and others introduced this new bill to partially deregulate encryption export, Mar. 5 96. - a promising move that is sure to raise the level of Congressional awareness of increasingly vital online security, privacy and commercial needs. Such a bill could also nail the coffin shut on hare-brained Administration schemes like "key escrow" (copies of all users' encryption keys held for the convenience of law enforcement.) Problems remain in the legislation, including unclear language in some areas, and the creation of a new felony of using encryption to thwart police investigation of a felony - tatamount to making it an extra crime to close the curtains when breaking the law. EFF is largely supportive of most of the provisions of the legislation. The bill also creates a legal infrastructure for key escrow, though it does aim to prevent the imposition of such a system. The House version, H.R. 3011, is considerably stronger in this regard.
Electronic Privacy Info. Center's analysis of the ECPA-2 bill.
EFF's largely positive statement regarding Sen. Leahy's new "Encrypted Communications Privacy Act". Some problems remain with the legislation, and it would be simpler and better for the industry and the public to deregulate rather than shift regulations, but the legislation is a major step forward and is certain to raise awareness in Congress of vital issues like digital commerce, Internet security, and online privacy.
Sen. Leahy's open letter to the Net community, on PGP, encryption and new privacy legislation. This appears to be the first time any US Senator has publicly used the PGP encryption program.
Sen. Leahy's introduction to his new [largely] pro-privacy, pro-encryption bill to reduced export restrictions on encryption. The bill, S. 1587, was introduced Mar. 5, 1996.
ACTION ALERT: Support new pro-privacy bill, the Promotion of Commerce Online in the Digital Era (Pro-CODE) bill, S. 1726. (May 13, 1996)
Senate staffers' summary of Sen. Leahy's new Encrypted Commmunications Privacy Act, introduced Mar. 5, 1996.
Rep. Goodlatte's "Security And Freedom through Encryption (SAFE) Act", a pro-crypto, pro-privacy, pro-Net bill largely mirroring Sen. Leahy's efforts in S. 1587, but with stronger protections against imposition of key 'escrow' systems. Like Leahy's bill, this legislation (introduced Mar. 5 1996) creates a new, but fairly narrow felony of cryptographical obstructing justice in furtherance of a felony.

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Related On-Site Resources

Clipper III link to directory of info on
Clinton Administration's "Clipper III" crypto key "escrow" scheme (the government opposition to Pro-CODE and to other attempts to deregulate crypto export.)
Export Restrictions
Link to Archive of info on US export restrictions on encryption (the ITAR or International Traffic in Arms Regulations, and the Export Control Act).
Key Escrow
Link to Archive of info on government key "escrow" proposals, in which everyone's encryption keys are held by government agencies or other third parties for the convenience of law enforcement and spy agencies.

Links to Related Off-Site Resources

Encryption Policy Resource Center
Joint project of CDT, VTW and EFF
The Congressional Internet Caucus
A new group of US legislators trying to protect the Internet