2 September 1997 Add Reuters story

1 September 1997
Source: Mail list cypherpunks@cyberpass.net

TO: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Subject: Encouraging News - France
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 97 13:16:58 -0400
From: "Brian B. Riley" <brianbr@together.net>

From <http://www.ft.com/hippocampus/8e46a.htm>

>The Financial Times
>Encryption technology: French boost for internet software

>By Andrew Jack in Paris

>France is poised to liberalise regulations on computer encryption 
>technology which could boost its efforts to encourage development of the 

>The government is shortly to publish an official decree which would for 
>the first time allow easy access to and use of software which encodes 
>sensitive information in order to protect it from unauthorised 

>The move could prove especially important for companies attempting to 
>sell products and services over the internet, but which have been 
>concerned about their protection of credit card numbers and other 
>financial information provided by their customers.
>France remains one of the few western countries to impose such 
>restrictive legislation on encryption, with only certain categories of 
>users currently allowed to use the software.

>Other nations which continue to restrict the use of cryptography tightly 
>in order to control the transfer of sensitive information include Iraq, 
>Libya, Singapore and China.

>While many more countries - including EU member states and the US - 
>restrict the export of sophisticated encryption technology as a product 
>important to national security, most have more liberal guidelines 
>concerning the circulation and application of software within their own 

>The new decree in France follows a 1996 telecommunications regulation 
>law, which opened the way to liberalisation of encryption software but 
>which has so far not led to publication of any details of how the 
>measures could be applied.

>The latest move comes after Lionel Jospin, the prime minister, made a 
>speech last week highlighting the "delay" in France of uptake of the 
>internet and promising initiatives to give it a higher priority.

Brian B. Riley --> http://www.macconnect.com/~brianbr
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2 September 1997, Reuters:


 French Leaders Urge Catch-up with Internet 

 Paris, Reuters: France, worried about falling behind in the development and use 
 of new technology, is stepping up efforts to promote greater use of the Internet. 

 Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, speaking at a media conference near Bordeaux this
 week, said the new government was willing to help the print media to branch out
 onto the worldwide web. He urged state telecoms operator France Telecom to
 make access cheaper. 

 ``All existing media enterprises which are in the information business must be able
 to extend their activity to these (computer) networks,'' Jospin said. 

 ``All over the world, and particularly in the United States, we see that the public
 authorities take a very active role in helping to develop technology and new
 services,'' he added. 

 At stake is not only France's future economic competitiveness but also a sensitive
 cultural issue -- English is the lingua franca of the Internet and French sites are
 small in number. 

 Jacques Toubon, a conservative former Culture and Justice Minister, wanted to
 forbid the use of English by French Internet users and information providers. 

 The Socialists are not taking such a tough line but want to stimulate the supply of
 French information. 

 Jospin urged a national debate on Internet policy followed by the drafting later this
 year of ``an ambitious action plan'' for Internet promotion. 

 He said he wanted French citizens to be able to pay their taxes, renew their car
 ownership papers or search for a job on the Internet. 

 Jospin also said that the Minitel, an early French online computer services system
 which is found in one out of five French homes, should be phased out. 

 Industry Minister Christian Pierret said on Friday that specific measures could be
 implemented from 1998, especially in the field of electronic commerce. 

 He urged France Telecom to cut rates for Internet use. 

 ``We must think about the rate structure for Internet which should be accessible
 without subscription at a price which is not discriminatory,'' he told La Tribune

 Pierret said that for electronic commerce France has to develop security, reliability
 and privacy on the Internet. 

 He added that France would allow the liberalisation of basic encryption techniques.

 ``This liberalisation of encrypting technology will allow French companies to fully
 enter the market of electronic commerce currently dominated by U.S. companies,''
 he said. 

 Encryption allows hacker-safe confidential transactions on the open Internet. But
 security services want to keep complicated encryption for national security only. 

 Last year, Microsoft Corp chairman Bill Gates argued in Paris with French
 President Jacques Chirac that encryption should be allowed for commercial

 The French Association of Internet Professionals on Friday (AFPI) welcomed the
 government's comments. 

 ``With three times fewer users of the Internet than in Britain or Germany, France
 certainly lags behind. The current growth rate of 75 percent per year does not
 allow us to catch up, something that could well happen for Italy and Spain where
 the growth rates are 120 percent,'' AFPI said. 

 AFPI called on the government to better inform the public and companies about
 the Internet and said the state had to put public information on the net for free.