PRIVACY Forum Archive Document
PRIVACY Forum Digest Friday, 4 June 1993 Volume 02 : Issue 19 Moderated by Lauren Weinstein (email@example.com) 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 Re: Can Wiretaps Remain Cost-Effective? (Barry Jaspan) Clipper Chip (bstrauss@BIX.com) Re: California law requiring ID at all times (Mel Beckman) Clinton Goes Online with E-Mail (Tansin A. Darcos & Company) White House Gets a Real Internet Address (Nigel Allen) House of Representatives On-Line (Mark Boolootian) CPSR Seeks Clipper Docs (Dave Banisar) CPSR NIST Crypto Statement (David Sobel) *** Please include a RELEVANT "Subject:" line on all submissions! *** *** Submissions without them may be ignored! *** ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Internet 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 "firstname.lastname@example.org" and must have RELEVANT "Subject:" lines; submissions without appropriate and relevant "Subject:" lines may be ignored. Excessive "signatures" on submissions are subject to editing. Subscriptions are by an automatic "listserv" system; for subscription information, please send a message consisting of the word "help" (quotes not included) in the BODY of a message to: "email@example.com". Mailing list problems should be reported to "firstname.lastname@example.org". All submissions included in this digest represent the views of the individual authors and all submissions will be considered to be distributable without limitations. The PRIVACY Forum archive, including all issues of the digest and all related materials, is available via anonymous FTP from site "ftp ftp.vortex.com", in the "/privacy" directory. Use the FTP login "ftp" or "anonymous", and enter your e-mail address as the password. The typical "README" and "INDEX" files are available to guide you through the files available for FTP access. PRIVACY Forum materials may also be obtained automatically via e-mail through the listserv system. Please follow the instructions above for getting the listserv "help" information, which includes details regarding the "index" and "get" listserv commands, which are used to access the PRIVACY Forum archive. All PRIVACY Forum materials are also available through the Internet Gopher system via a gopher server on site "gopher.vortex.com/". For information regarding the availability of this digest via FAX, please send an inquiry to email@example.com, call (310) 455-9300, or FAX to (310) 455-2364. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- VOLUME 02, ISSUE 19 Quote for the day: "When I play with my cat, who knows whether she isn't amusing herself with me more than I am with her?" -- Montaigne (1533-1592) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 28 May 93 11:07:56 EDT From: "Barry Jaspan" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Can Wiretaps Remain Cost-Effective? (Robin Hanson) Robin Hanson writes: >> So why not let phone companies sell police the option to perform legal >> wiretaps on given sets of phone lines, at whatever price the two >> parties can negotiate? I agreed, or at least sympathized, with Hanson's argument up to this point, but I think the privatizing of law enforcement is not necessarily a good idea. Why not let landlords sell police the option to perform legal searches in homes they manage? Why not allow company executives sell police the option to perform legal investigations into the business-related activities of employees? The answer is that it would put the seller of the option in a position to control the possibility of a criminal investigation being pursued. What if the phone comany, the landlord, or the company executive was in on the crime being committed? The possibilities for corruption and, more generally, social and political complications are immense. This is not to say that law enforcement officials aren't equally subject to these problems (they are), but there are stricter guidelines governing their behavior. It would be bad for business if the person at the phone company with the authority the negotiate with the police had to have a security clearance, etc. Just my $.02. Barry Jaspan, email@example.com ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 28 May 1993 23:49:10 -0400 (EDT) From: bstrauss@BIX.com Subject: Clipper Chip One of the things I've not seen discussed in the clipper chip debate is a worst case scenario. Clipper chip is mandatory and all other forms of encryption are banned. Given the reality of electronic communications (witness the inability of the USSR to control information flow once computers started to become common place), I wonder if the government really thinks they can manage the flow. Even if there is a backdoor in clipper and they can crack, trivially, every conversation 'they' want, how does the government (nefarious FBI, NSA, etc people) expect to sift the 'interesting' things from the sheer volume? Suppose two people want to exchange dastardly messages. Further suppose they agree that every thousandth message is important and they program their computers to exchange 999 messages per day -- meaningless, random garbage... Or even bad computer generated poetry -- perfect place to hide coded messages. One of the key military technologies is traffic analysis -- even if you can't read the meaning, a sudden increase in traffic is an indication that 'something' is up. But there is 999 or 1000 messages per day, and nothing to set off a traffic alert. How can government expect to manage this information flow, especially as it grows 10x or 100x over the next years? -----Burton ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 30 May 93 07:45:38 PST From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mel Beckman) Subject: Re: California law requiring ID at all times In Regards to your letter <m0nyxeI-00020DC@vortex.com>: > A couple of nights ago on the local TV news I heard that > California now requires that all adults carry identification > at all times. I live in Southern California. This was news to me, so I called two different police agencies: the Ventura County Sherrif's Association, and the Santa Barbara Police Dept. Both said that no, nobody is required to carry ID at all times. However, if stopped by a police officer, a citizen is to assume that the officer has reasonable cause and thus produce any identification they're carrying. The officer (assuming reasonable cause) may perform a surface search for ID to verify a claim of nonposession. This has an interesting intersection with the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) here in Southern California. The INS routinely stops people and asks them to produce their "green card", or legal alien registration. I've recently had occassion to ask the INS under what conditions they may stop and demand proof of citizenship. An INS officer told me that they can stop anybody and ask for a green card if they have the infamous "reasonable cause" -- and that reasonable cause can be "ethnic appearance!". However, if the person says they are a US Citizen, they instantly do not have to produce any further documentation and must be released. According to the Sherrif's department, the INS doesn't enjoy the State law enforcer's privilege of obtaining whatever ID the person _is_ carrying. I plan to look up the specific statutes and will report them here. -mel ______________________________________________________________________ | Mel beckman | Internet: email@example.com | | Beckman Software Engineering | Compuserve: 75226,2257 | | Ventura, CA 93003 | Voice/fax: 805/647-1641 805/647-3125 | |____________________________|_____________________________________| "You can observe a lot just by watching." -Yogi Berra ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1993 20:59:24 -0400 (EDT) From: "Tansin A. Darcos & Company" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Clinton Goes Online with E-Mail >> From: Paul Robinson <TDARCOS@MCIMAIL.COM> >> Organization: Tansin A. Darcos & Company, Silver Spring, MD USA ----- Just reported today (6/2) on page F3 of The Washington Post: "Move over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Bill Clinton has a second address: email@example.com". Several paragraphs later, it reports: "People who send complaints or praise by E-Mail won't reach the president directly or jump the queue in getting attention. The messages will be read by the White House correspondence staff, with the same priority as paper letters. A sampling will be show to the president and Vice President Al Gore, who made White House E-Mail a personal priority. (His address: firstname.lastname@example.org)." "The White House already had addresses with three commercial E-Mail services. Through them, it was receiving as many as 5,000 messages a week." The article later points out that the messages were sent using sneakernet, i.e. copied to diskette and carried by mail or courier. In the article, it kept printing the E-Mail addresses such that the line breaks kept making the system divide the messages as "president@white- house.gov" or also, in the second place, the address "vice.president@white- house.gov". So I decided to see if it really was on line, or if the Post had made a mistake; I telnetted to rs.internic.net/ and did a lookup: Whois: whois whitehouse.gov Executive Office of the President USA (WHITEHOUSE-HST) 188.8.131.52 WHITEHOUSE.GOV Whitehouse Public Access (WHITEHOUSE-DOM) Whois: whitehouse-dom Whitehouse Public Access (WHITEHOUSE-DOM) Executive Office of the President USA Office of Administration Room NEOB 4208 725 17th Street NW Washington, D.C. 20503 Domain Name: WHITEHOUSE.GOV Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact: Fox, Jack S. (JSF) fox_j@EOP.GOV (202) 395-7323 Record last updated on 26-May-93. Domain servers in listed order: WHITEHOUSE.GOV 184.108.40.206 NS.UU.NET 220.127.116.11 whois: The article mentions that selected items will be shown to the President and the Vice President directly. So here's your chance to send positive comments directly as E-Mail, or, if desired, to vent your spleen without delay! ----- Paul Robinson -- TDARCOS@MCIMAIL.COM ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 2 Jun 93 00:02:42 EDT From: email@example.com (Nigel Allen) Subject: White House Gets a Real Internet Address Organization: Echo Beach [ From TELECOM Digest -- MODERATOR ] Here is a press release from the White House. I downloaded the press release from the PR On-Line BBS in Maryland at 410-363-0834. Letter from President Clinton, Vice President Gore Announcing White House Electronic Mail Access Contact: White House Office of Media Affairs, 202-456-7150 WASHINGTON, June 1 -- Following is a letter from President Clinton and Vice President Gore announcing White House electronic mail access: Dear Friends: Part of our commitment to change is to keep the White House in step with today's changing technology. As we move ahead into the twenty-first century, we must have a government that can show the way and lead by example. Today, we are pleased to announce that for the first time in history, the White House will be connected to you via electronic mail. Electronic mail will bring the Presidency and this Administration closer and make it more accessible to the people. The White House will be connected to the Internet as well as several on-line commercial vendors, thus making us more accessible and more in touch with people across this country. We will not be alone in this venture. Congress is also getting involved, and an exciting announcement regarding electronic mail is expected to come from the House of Representatives tomorrow. Various government agencies also will be taking part in the near future. Americans Communicating Electronically is a project developed by several government agencies to coordinate and improve access to the nation's educational and information assets and resources. This will be done through interactive communications such as electronic mail, and brought to people who do not have ready access to a computer. However, we must be realistic about the limitations and expectations of the White House electronic mail system. This experiment is the first-ever e-mail project done on such a large scale. As we work to reinvent government and streamline our processes, the e-mail project can help to put us on the leading edge of progress. Initially, your e-mail message will be read and receipt immediately acknowledged. A careful count will be taken on the number received as well as the subject of each message. However, the White House is not yet capable of sending back a tailored response via electronic mail. We are hoping this will happen by the end of the year. A number of response-based programs which allow technology to help us read your message more effectively, and, eventually respond to you electronically in a timely fashion will be tried out as well. These programs will change periodically as we experiment with the best way to handle electronic mail from the public. Since this has never been tried before, it is important to allow for some flexibility in the system in these first stages. We welcome your suggestions. This is an historic moment in the White House and we look forward to your participation and enthusiasm for this milestone event. We eagerly anticipate the day when electronic mail from the public is an integral and normal part of the White House communications system. President Clinton Vice President Gore PRESIDENT@WHITEHOUSE.GOV VICE.PRESIDENT@WHITEHOUSE.GOV ----------------- Nigel Allen, Toronto, Ontario, Canada firstname.lastname@example.org ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1993 14:24:55 -0700 (PDT) From: email@example.com (Mark Boolootian) Subject: House of Representatives On-Line [ From TELECOM Digest -- MODERATOR ] Date: 03 Jun 93 15:41:15 -0500 Subject: press release TEXT OF PRESS RELEASE FROM COMMITTEE ON HOUSE ADMINISTRATION, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DATED JUNE 3,1993 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For further information please contact: Lance Koonce (202) 225-7922 HOUSE ANNOUNCES PUBLIC ELECTRONIC MAIL SERVICE Chairman Charlie Rose and Ranking Minority Member Bill Thomas of the Committee on House Administration announced today the pilot program of the Constituent Electronic Mail System. This ground-breaking new service will allow citizens to communicate directly with their Member of Congress by electronic mail. The House of Representatives has established an electronic gateway to the Internet, the vast computer network that is used currently by over twelve million people worldwide. Participating Members of the House have been assigned public mailboxes which may be accessed by their constituents from their home computers. In addition, many libraries, schools and other public institutions now provide, or soon will provide, public access to the Internet. The Members of the House of Representatives who have agreed to participate in this pilot program are: Rep. Jay Dickey (AR-07), Rep. Sam Gejdenson (CT-02), Rep. Newt Gingrich (GA-06), Rep. George Miller (CA-07), Rep. Charlie Rose (NC-07), Rep. Fortney (Pete) Stark (CA-l3), and Rep. Melvin Watt (NC-12). These Members will be making announcements in their congressional districts within the next few weeks to make their constituents aware of the new service. The Constituent Electronic Mail System represents a significant effort by the House of Representatives to expand communication with constituents. With the tremendous growth of electronic mail over the past several years, and the increasingly inter-connected nature of computer networks, the new service is a natural addition to the current methods of communication available to constituents. At the present time, House Members involved in the pilot program will largely respond to electronic mail messages from their constituents by postal mail, to ensure confidentiality. Constituents of House Members participating in the pilot program who wish to communicate with those Members will be asked to send a letter or postcard stating their interest to the Member's office. The request will include the constituent's Internet "address," as well as that constituent's name and postal address. This process will allow Members to identify an electronic mail user as his or her constituent. The pilot e-mail program will continue until sufficient feedback from participating offices has been collected to allow improvements and modifications to the system. When House Information Systems and the Committee on House Administration are satisfied that the system is sufficiently error-free, other Members of the House will be allowed to add this new service as technical, budgetary and staffing concerns allow. For more information,Internet users are encouraged to contact the House of Representative's new on-line information service. Please send a request for information to CONGRESS@HR.HOUSE.GOV (1) (1) Please be advised that the commercial "at" symbol is not recognized by some computer systems when transmitted electronically. The "at" symbol is an important part of the electronic mail address for the U.S. House information service, and should be inserted in place of the question mark in the following example: "CONGRESS?HR.HOUSE.GOV/" ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 28 May 1993 14:30:44 EST From: Dave Banisar <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: CPSR Seeks Clipper Docs PRESS RELEASE May 28, 1993 CPSR Seeks Clipper Documents - Brings Suit Against NSA and National Security Council Washington, DC -- Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility filed suit today in federal district court seeking information about the government's controversial new cryptography proposal. The "Clipper" proposal, announced by the White House at an April 16 press conference, is based on a technology developed by the National Security Agency that would allow the government to intercept computer encoded information. Law enforcement agencies say that capability this is necessary to protect court ordered wire surveillance. But industry groups and civil liberties organizations have raised questions about the proposal. They cite the risk of abuse, the potential loss in security and privacy, costs to US firms and consumers, and the difficulties enforcing the policy. Marc Rotenberg, CPSR Washington office director, said "The Clipper plan was developed behind a veil of secrecy. It is not enough for the White House to hold a few press conferences. We need to know why the standard was developed, what alternatives were considered, and what the impact will be on privacy. " "As the proposal currently stands, Clipper looks a lot like 'desktop surveillance,'" added Rotenberg. David Sobel, CPSR Legal Counsel, said "CPSR is continuing its oversight of federal cryptography policy. These decisions are too important to made in secret, without public review by all interested parties." In previous FOIA suits, CPSR obtained records from the General Services Administration questioning the FBI's digital telephony plan, a legislative proposal to require that communications companies design wiretap capability. More recently, CPSR obtained records through the FOIA revealing the involvement of the National Security Agency in the development of unclassified technical standards in violation of federal law. CPSR is a national membership organization, based in Palo Alto, CA. Membership is open to the public. For more information about CPSR, contact CPSR, P.O. Box 717, Palo Alto, CA 9403, 415/322-3778 (tel), 415/322-3798 (fax), email@example.com ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1993 17:08:40 EST From: David Sobel <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: CPSR NIST Crypto Statement Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology Computer System Security and Privacy Advisory Board Review of Cryptography Policy June 1993 Statement of CPSR Washington office Marc Rotenberg, director (email@example.com) with David Sobel, legal counsel, Dave Banisar, policy analyst Mr. Chairman, members of the Advisory Panel, thank you for the opportunity to speak today about emerging issues on cryptography policy. My name is Marc Rotenberg and I am director of the CPSR Washington office. Although CPSR does not represent any computer firm or industry trade association, we speak for many in the computer profession who value privacy and are concerned about the government's Clipper proposal. During the last several years CPSR has organized several meetings to promote public discussion of cryptography issues. We have also obtained important government documents through the Freedom of Information Act. We believe that good policies will only result if the public, the profession, and the policy makers are fully informed about the significance of these recent proposals. We are pleased that the Advisory Board has organized hearings. This review of cryptography policy will help determine if the Clipper proposal is in the best interests of the country. We believe that a careful review of the relevant laws and policies shows that the key escrow arrangement is at odds with the public interest, and that therefore the Clipper proposal should not go forward. Today I will address issues 1 through 3 identified in the NIST announcement, specifically the policy requirements of the Computer Security Act, the legal issues surrounding the key escrow arrangement, and the importance of privacy for network development. 1. CRYPTOGRAPHY POLICY The first issue concerns the 1987 statute enacted to improve computer security in the federal government, to clarify the responsibilities of NIST and NSA, and to ensure that technical standards would serve civilian and commercial needs. The Computer Security Act, which also established this Advisory Panel, is the true cornerstone of cryptography policy in the United States. That law made clear that in the area of unclassified computing systems, the Department of Commerce and not the Department of Defense, would be responsible for the development of technical standards. It emphasized public accountability and stressed open decision-making. The Computer Security Act grew out of a concern that classified standards and secret meetings would not serve the interests of the general public. As the practical applications for cryptography have moved from the military and intelligence arenas to the commercial sphere, this point has become clear. There is also clearly a conflict of interest when an agency tasked with signal interception is also given authority to develop standards for network security. In the spirit of the Computer Security Act, NIST set out in 1989 to develop a public key standard FIPS. In a memo dated May 5, 1989 and obtained by CPSR through the Freedom of Information Act, NIST said that it planned: to develop the necessary public-key based security standards. We require a public-key algorithm for calculating digital signatures and we also require a public-key algorithm for distributing secret keys. NIST then went on to define the requirements of the standard: The algorithms that we use must be public, unclassified, implementable in both hardware or software, usable by federal Agencies and U.S. based multi-national corporation, and must provide a level of security sufficient for the protection of unclassified, sensitive information and commercial propriety and/or valuable information. The Clipper proposal and the full-blown Capstone configuration, which incorporates the key management function NIST set out to develop in 1989, is very different from the one originally conceived by NIST. % The Clipper algorithm, Skipjack, is classified, % Public access to the reasons underlying the proposal is restricted, % Skipjack can be implemented only in tamper-proof hardware, % It is unlikely to be used by multi-national corporations, and % Its security remains unproven. The Clipper proposal undermines the central purpose of the Computer Security Act. Although intended for broad use in commercial networks, it was not developed at the request of either U.S. business or the general public. It does not reflect public goals. Rather it reflects the interests of one secret agency with the authority to conduct foreign signal intelligence and another government agency responsible for law enforcement investigations. ntent of the Computer Security Act of 1987. What is the significance of this? It is conceivable that an expert panel of cryptographers will review the Skipjack algorithm and find that it lives up its billing, that there is no "trap door" and no easy way to reverse-engineer. In fact, the White House has proposed just such a review process But is this process adequate? Is this the procedure the Advisory Board would endorse for the development of widespread technical standards? The expert participants will probably not be permitted to publish their assessments of the proposal in scientific journals, further review of the standard will be restricted, and those who are skeptical will remain in the dark about the actual design of the chip. This may be an appropriate process for certain military systems, but it is clearly inappropriate for a technical standard that the government believes should be widely incorporated into the communications infrastructure. Good government policy requires that certain process goals be satisfied. Decisions should be made in the open. The interests of the participating agencies should be clear. Agencies should be accountable for their actions and recommendations. Black boxes and government oversight are not compatible. There is an even greater obligation to promote open decisions where technical and scientific issues are at stake. Innovation depends on openness. The scientific method depends on the ability of researchers to "kick the tires" and "test drive" the product. And, then, even if it is a fairly good design, additional testing encourages the development of new features, improved performance and reduced cost. Government secrecy is incompatible which such a development process. Many of these principles are incorporated into the Computer Security Act and the Freedom of Information Act. The current government policy on the development of unclassified technical standards, as set out in the Computer Security Act, is a very good policy. It emphasizes public applications, stresses open review, and ensures public accountability. It is not the policy that is flawed. It is the Clipper proposal. To accept the Clipper proposal would be to endorse a process that ran contrary to the law, that discourages innovation, and that undermines openness. 2. LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES There are several legal and constitutional issues raised by the government's key escrow proposal. The premise of the Clipper key escrow arrangement is that the government must have the ability to intercept electronic communications, regardless of the economic or societal costs. The FBI's Digital Telephony proposal, and the earlier Senate bill 266, was based on the same assumption. There are a number of arguments made in defense of this position: that privacy rights and law enforcement needs must be balanced, or that the government will be unable to conduct criminal investigations without this capability. Regardless of how one views these various claims, there is one point about the law that should be made very clear: currently there is no legal basis -- in statute, the Constitution or anywhere else -- that supports the premise which underlies the Clipper proposal. As the law currently stands, surveillance is not a design goal. General Motors would have a stronger legal basis for building cars that could not go faster than 65 miles per hour than AT&T does in marketing a commercial telephone that has a built-in wiretap capability. In law there is simply nothing about the use of a telephone that is inherently illegal or suspect. The federal wiretap statute says only that communication service providers must assist law enforcement in the execution of a lawful warrant. It does not say that anyone is obligated to design systems to facilitate future wire surveillance. That distinction is the difference between countries that restrict wire surveillance to narrow circumstances defined in law and those that treat all users of the telephone network as potential criminals. U.S. law takes the first approach. Countries such as the former East Germany took the second approach. The use of the phone system by citizens was considered inherently suspect and for that reason more than 10,000 people were employed by the East German government to listen in on telephone calls. It is precisely because the wiretap statute does not contain the obligation to incorporate surveillance capability -- the design premise of the Clipper proposal -- that the Federal Bureau of Investigation introduced the Digital Telephony legislation. But that legislation has not moved forward on Capitol Hill and the law has remained unchanged. The Clipper proposal attempts to accomplish through the standard-setting and procurement process what the Congress has been unwilling to do through the legislative process. On legal grounds, adopting the Clipper would be a mistake. There is an important policy goal underlying the wiretap law. The Fourth Amendment and the federal wiretap statute do not so much balance competing interests as they erect barriers against government excess and define the proper scope of criminal investigation. The purpose of the federal wiretap law is to restrict the government, it is not to coerce the public. Therefore, if the government endorses the Clipper proposal, it will undermine the basic philosophy of the federal wiretap law and the fundamental values embodied in the Constitution. It will establish a technical mechanism for signal interception based on a premise that has no legal foundation. I am not speaking rhetorically about "Big Brother." My point is simply that the assumption underlying the Clipper proposal is more compatible with the practice of telephone surveillance in the former East Germany than it is with the narrowly limited circumstances that wire surveillance has been allowed in the United States. There are a number of other legal issues that have not been adequately considered by the proponents of the key escrow arrangement that the Advisory Board should examine. First, not all lawful wiretaps follow a normal warrant process. It is critical that the proponents of Clipper make very clear how emergency wiretaps will be conducted before the proposal goes forward. Second, there may be civil liability issues for the escrow agents if there is abuse or compromise of the keys. Escrow agents may be liable for any harm that results. Third, there is a Fifth Amendment dimension to the proposed escrow key arrangement if a network user is compelled to disclose his or her key to the government in order to access a communications network. Each one of these issues should be examined. There is also one legislative change that we would like the Advisory Board to consider. During our FOIA litigation, the NSA cited a 1951 law to withhold certain documents that were critical to understand the development of the Digital Signature Standard. The law, passed grants the government the right restrict the disclosure of any classified information pertaining to cryptography. While the government may properly withhold classified information in FOIA cases, the practical impact of this particular provision is to provide another means to insulate cryptographic policy from public review. Given the importance of public review of cryptography policy, the requirement of the Computer Security Act, and the Advisory Board's own commitment to an open, public process, we ask the Advisory Board to recommend to the President and to the Congress that section 798 be repealed or substantially revised to reflect current circumstances. This is the one area of national cryptography policy where we believe a change is necessary. 3. INDIVIDUAL PRIVACY Communications privacy remains a critical test for network development. Networks that do not provide a high degree of privacy are clearly less useful to network users. Given the choice between a cryptography product without a key escrow and one with a key escrow, it would be difficult to find a user who would prefer the key escrow requirement. If this proposal does go forward, it will not be because network users or commercial service providers favored it. Many governments are now facing questions about restrictions on cryptography similar to the question now being raised in this country. It is clear that governments may choose to favor the interests of consumers and businesses over law enforcement. Less than a month ago, the government of Australia over-rode the objections of law enforcement and intelligence agencies and allowed the Australian telephone companies to go forward with new digital mobile phone networks, GSM, using the A5 robust algorithm. Other countries will soon face similar decisions. We hope that they will follow a similar path To briefly summarize, the problem here is not the existing law on computer security or policies on cryptography and wire surveillance. The Computer Security Act stresses public standards, open review, and commercial applications. The federal wiretap statute is one of the best privacy laws in the world. With the exception of one provision in the criminal code left over from the Cold War, our current cryptography policy is very good. It reflects many of the values -- individual liberty, openness, government accountability -- that are crucial for democratic societies to function. The problem is the Clipper proposal. It is an end-run around policies intended to restrict government surveillance and to ensure agency accountability. It is an effort to put in place a technical configuration that is at odds with the federal wiretap law and the protection of individual privacy. It is for these reasons that we ask the Advisory Board to recommend to the Secretary of Commerce, the White House, and the Congress that the current Clipper proposal not go forward. I thank you for the opportunity to speak with you about these issues. I wish to invite the members of the Advisory Committee to the third annual CPSR Privacy and Cryptography conference that will be held Monday, June 7 in Washington, DC at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. That meeting will provide an opportunity for further discussion about cryptography policy. ATTACHMENTS "TWG Issue Number: NIST - May 5, 1989," document obtained by CPSR as a result of litigation under the Freedom of Information Act. "U.S. as Big Brother of Computer Age," The New York Times, May 6, 1993, at D1. "Keeping Fewer Secrets," Issues in Science and Technology, vol. IX, no. 1 (Fall 1992) "The Only Locksmith in Town," The Index on Censorship (January 1990) [The republication of these articles for the non-commercial purpose of informing the government about public policy is protected by section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976] ------------------------------ End of PRIVACY Forum Digest 02.19 ************************
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