PRIVACY Forum Archive Document
PRIVACY Forum Digest Saturday, 17 April 1993 Volume 02 : Issue 13 Moderated by Lauren Weinstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) Vortex Technology, Topanga, CA, U.S.A. ===== PRIVACY FORUM ===== The PRIVACY Forum digest is supported in part by the ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy. CONTENTS *** Special Issue on "Clipper" Encryption System *** White House Public Encryption Management Fact Sheet (Clipper Chip Announcement) Clipper chip encryption (Bruce O'Neel) CPSR Calls for Public Debate (Dave Banisar) Which countries outlaw encryption? (Dave Bakken) Initial EFF Analysis of Clinton Privacy and Security Proposal (EFFector Online Volume 5 No. 6) *** Please include a RELEVANT "Subject:" line on all submissions! *** *** Submissions without them may be ignored! *** ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- The PRIVACY Forum is a moderated digest for the discussion and analysis of issues relating to the general topic of privacy (both personal and collective) in the "information age" of the 1990's and beyond. The moderator will choose submissions for inclusion based on their relevance and content. Submissions will not be routinely acknowledged. ALL submissions should be addressed to "email@example.com" and must have RELEVANT "Subject:" lines. Submissions without appropriate and relevant "Subject:" lines may be ignored. 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John Lennon / Paul McCartney; 1963 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 16 Apr 93 16:42:31 EDT From: Clipper Chip Announcement <email@example.com> Subject: White House Public Encryption Management Fact Sheet Note: The following was released by the White House today in conjunction with the announcement of the Clipper Chip encryption technology. FACT SHEET PUBLIC ENCRYPTION MANAGEMENT The President has approved a directive on "Public Encryption Management." The directive provides for the following: 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. Despite its benefits, new communications technology can also frustrate lawful government electronic surveillance. Sophisticated encryption can have this effect in the United States. When exported abroad, it can be used to thwart foreign intelligence activities critical to our national interests. 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. As encryption technology improves, doing so will require new, innovative approaches. 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 system for the escrowing of keys will allow the government to gain access to encrypted information only with appropriate legal authorization. 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: INSTALLATION OF GOVERNMENT-DEVELOPED MICROCIRCUITS 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. The fact of law enforcement access to the escrowed keys will not be concealed from the American public. 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. 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. KEY-ESCROW The Attorney General shall make all arrangements with appropriate entities to hold the keys for the key-escrow microcircuits installed in communications equipment. 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 Attorney General shall review for legal sufficiency the procedures by which an agency establishes its authority to acquire the content of such communications. PROCUREMENT AND USE OF ENCRYPTION DEVICES 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 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. Further, the Attorney General shall utilize funds from the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Super Surplus Fund to effect this purchase. ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 16 Apr 93 16:59:16 EDT From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bruce O'Neel) Subject: Clipper chip encryption In Volume 02, Issue 12: > For Immediate Release April 16, 1993 > > > STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY > > > The President today announced a new initiative that will bring > the Federal Government together with industry in a voluntary > program to improve the security and privacy of telephone > communications while meeting the legitimate needs of law > enforcement. A few thoughts from a practical vein rather than a subversive vein from someone who isn't a cryptographer and doesn't play one on TV... 1. What's an "encryption" device? Is a V.32 modem one? Without another modem it's pretty hard to figure out what's going on. What about programs such as compress? With out the "key" of the compress/decompress program it's a bit difficult to decode compressed files. 2. What happens if I make for my own use an "encryption" device for data and/or voice communications? Will that become illegal? The Press Secretary dodged the question about individuals purchasing the chips. Or will transmission methods only be encryption if I use unpublished methods and non-commercial devices? Say I come up with a breakthrough to compress voice and can multiplex multiple voice channels together on a regular telephone circuit. If I make a one-off device to do this (one for each end of the circuit) is this encryption? Will I have to get a permit to use it? 3. Does that mean that voice/data communications would have to have "headers" telling what the "encryption" method is? [The following is in ascii text] ABC [The following is in ...] and so on. Will UUENCODE become encryption? 4. Will we therefore get "approved" or "standardized" transmission formats? You don't need a permit|permission|whatever to stay within the law if you use ascii, LZ compressed ascii, english over telephones and so on? 5. What if I use some sort of Huffman compression and transmit the frequency table in a separate message? Common algorithm but without the "key" in the form of a frequency table it'll be a bit difficult to figure out. Just some thoughts. bruce -- Measure with a micrometer. Mark with chalk. Cut with an axe. ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1993 16:43:02 EST From: Dave Banisar <email@example.com> Subject: CPSR Calls for Public Debate April 16, 1993 Washington, DC COMPUTER PROFESSIONALS CALL FOR PUBLIC DEBATE ON NEW GOVERNMENT ENCRYPTION INITIATIVE Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) today called for the public disclosure of technical data underlying the government's newly-announced "Public Encryption Management" initiative. The new cryptography scheme was announced today by the White House and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), which will implement the technical specifications of the plan. A NIST spokesman acknowledged that the National Security Agency (NSA), the super- secret military intelligence agency, had actually developed the encryption technology around which the new initiative is built. According to NIST, the technical specifications and the Presidential directive establishing the plan are classified. To open the initiative to public review and debate, CPSR today filed a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with key agencies, including NSA, NIST, the National Security Council and the FBI for information relating to the encryption plan. The CPSR requests are in keeping with the spirit of the Computer Security Act, which Congress passed in 1987 in order to open the development of non-military computer security standards to public scrutiny and to limit NSA's role in the creation of such standards. CPSR previously has questioned the role of NSA in developing the so-called "digital signature standard" (DSS), a communications authentication technology that NIST proposed for government-wide use in 1991. After CPSR sued NIST in a FOIA lawsuit last year, the civilian agency disclosed for the first time that NSA had, in fact, developed that security standard. NSA is due to file papers in federal court next week justifying the classification of records concerning its creation of the DSS. David Sobel, CPSR Legal Counsel, called the administration's apparent commitment to the privacy of electronic communications, as reflected in today's official statement, "a step in the right direction." But he questioned the propriety of NSA's role in the process and the apparent secrecy that has thus far shielded the development process from public scrutiny. "At a time when we are moving towards the development of a new information infrastructure, it is vital that standards designed to protect personal privacy be established openly and with full public participation. It is not appropriate for NSA -- an agency with a long tradition of secrecy and opposition to effective civilian cryptography -- to play a leading role in the development process." CPSR is a national public-interest alliance of computer industry professionals dedicated to examining the impact of technology on society. CPSR has 21 chapters in the U.S. and maintains offices in Palo Alto, California, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Washington, DC. For additional information on CPSR, call (415) 322-3778 or e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1993 14:51:36 MST From: "Dave Bakken" <email@example.com> Subject: Which countries outlaw encryption? Friday's announcement about the new Clipper Chip mentioned in passing that some countries have effectively outlawed encryption. Where can one find a list of such countries or a paper discussing this? Thanks! ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1993 23:00:00 PDT From: "EFFector Online Volume 5 No. 6" Subject: Initial EFF Analysis of Clinton Privacy and Security Proposal [ This item is extracted from "EFF Effector Online" Volume 5 No. 6. Contact address is "firstname.lastname@example.org". -- MODERATOR ] April 16, 1993 INITIAL EFF ANALYSIS OF CLINTON PRIVACY AND SECURITY PROPOSAL The Clinton Administration today made a major announcement on cryptography policy which will effect the privacy and security of millions of Americans. The first part of the plan is to begin a comprehensive inquiry into major communications privacy issues such as export controls which have effectively denied most people easy access to robust encryption as well as law enforcement issues posed by new technology. However, EFF is very concerned that the Administration has already reached a conclusion on one critical part of the inquiry, before any public comment or discussion has been allowed. Apparently, the Administration is going to use its leverage to get all telephone equipment vendors to adopt a voice encryption standard developed by the National Security Agency. The so-called "Clipper Chip" is an 80-bit, split key escrowed encryption scheme which will be built into chips manufactured by a military contractor. Two separate escrow agents would store users' keys, and be required to turn them over law enforcement upon presentation of a valid warrant. The encryption scheme used is to be classified, but they chips will be available to any manufacturer for incorporation into their communications products. This proposal raises a number of serious concerns . First, the Administration appears to be adopting a solution before conducting an inquiry. The NSA-developed Clipper chip may not be the most secure product. Other vendors or developers may have better schemes. Furthermore, we should not rely on the government as the sole source for Clipper or any other chips. Rather, independent chip manufacturers should be able to produce chipsets based on open standards. Second, an algorithm can not be trusted unless it can be tested. Yet the Administration proposes to keep the chip algorithm classified. EFF believes that any standard adopted ought to be public and open. The public will only have confidence in the security of a standard that is open to independent, expert scrutiny. Third, while the use of the split-key, dual-escrowed system may prove to be a reasonable balance between privacy and law enforcement needs, the details of this scheme must be explored publicly before it is adopted. What will give people confidence in the safety of their keys? Does disclosure of keys to a third party waive individual's fifth amendment rights in subsequent criminal inquiries? In sum, the Administration has shown great sensitivity to the importance of these issues by planning a comprehensive inquiry into digital privacy and security. However, the "Clipper chip" solution ought to be considered as part of the inquiry, not be adopted before the discussion even begins. DETAILS OF THE PROPOSAL: ESCROW The 80-bit key will be divided between two escrow agents, each of whom hold 40 bits of each key. Upon presentation of a valid warrant, the two escrow agents would have to turn the key parts over to law enforcement agents. Most likely the Attorney General will be asked to identify appropriate escrow agents. Some in the Administration have suggested one non-law enforcement federal agency, perhaps the Federal Reserve, and one non-governmental organization. But, there is no agreement on the identity of the agents yet. Key registration would be done by the manufacturer of the communications device. A key is tied to the device, not to the person using it. CLASSIFIED ALGORITHM AND THE POSSIBILITY OF BACK DOORS The Administration claims that there are no back door means by which the government or others could break the code without securing keys from the escrow agents and that the President will be told there are no back doors to this classified algorithm. In order to prove this, Administration sources are interested in arranging for an all-star crypto cracker team to come in, under a security arrangement, and examine the algorithm for trap doors. The results of the investigation would then be made public. GOVERNMENT AS MARKET DRIVER In order to get a market moving, and to show that the government believes in the security of this system, the feds will be the first big customers for this product. Users will include the FBI, Secret Service, VP Al Gore, and maybe even the President. FROM MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jerry Berman, Executive Director Daniel J. Weitzner, Senior Staff Counsel ------------------------------ End of PRIVACY Forum Digest 02.13 ************************
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