13 May 1998
From: Patrick Poole <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: The Encryption Brady Bill Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 09:38:02 -0400 Senate 'Tech-Week' Suffers Setback With E-PRIVACY Bill "E-Privacy: The Encryption Brady Bill" WASHINGTON, DC-May 12, 1998-The Center for Technology Policy at the Free Congress Foundation decried the vast expansion of Federal and international law enforcement powers following the unveiling of the E-PRIVACY (Encryption Protects the Rights of Individuals from Violation in Cyberspace) Senate bill introduced by Senators John Ashcroft, Patrick Leahy and Conrad Burns earlier today. "While many thought that the Brady Bill would appease the opponents of gun control, the drafters of the E-PRIVACY bill think that those of us who value our right to communicate privately will be appeased as well," said Lisa S. Dean, Director of the Center for Technology Policy. A provision of the E-PRIVACY bill will require all software using encryption security features to be exported, to undergo a review and technical analysis by the Export Administration. The bill also elevates the use of encryption in the commission of any crime as a federal offense. "The Commerce Department's 15-day 'waiting period' for all exported American software products smacks of the ineffective waiting period provisions of the Brady Bill," Dean said. "The measures of this bill will federalize simple computer crimes, while allowing federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to collude with the National Security Agency and the CIA to be able to gather evidence and prosecute crimes that would typically be heard in lower courts." Other erosions of liberty included in the E-PRIVACY bill: * Allows the US to engage in crypto-recovery treaties that would allow the Attorney General to assist foreign governments in obtaining the keys to your computer. * The creation of a FBI 'NET Center', where US intelligence organizations - specifically the National Security Agency - will provide the resources and training to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to help crack encrypted programs. * Expands the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, who conducts all proceedings in absolute secrecy and permanently seals all court records, to force phone companies and Internet Service Providers (ISP) to assist in conducting covert surveillance and physical searches without any probable cause. * Subjects new software products using encryption to an eight-member export review panel that includes intelligence agency officials and the administration's export chief. "E-PRIVACY certainly helps software companies who are eager to expand into foreign markets, but ignores the repeated concerns of personal privacy advocates. This bill does nothing to help computer scientists, such as Professors Dan Bernstein and Peter Junger, who have had to fight against the Clinton Administration at every point just to publish academic materials concerning cryptography on the Internet. The E-PRIVACY bill helps the administration continue its policy of inflicting a death of a thousand strokes against the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments," said Dean. The Free Congress Foundation is a 20 year-old Washington based think tank which teaches people how to be effective in the political process, promotes cultural conservatism, and works against government encroachment in the individual's right to privacy. For more information, contact the Center for Technology Policy at 202/546-3000.