[rc5] ALERT:Senate to vote on mandatory key escrow as early as Thu June 19th! (fwd)
Adam L. Beberg
beberg at charlie.cns.iit.edu
Wed Jun 18 06:52:14 EDT 1997
Some info related to our efforts...
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997 02:09:11 -0400
From: "Shabbir J. Safdar" <shabbir at vtw.org>
Reply-To: crypto-news at lists.panix.com
To: crypto-news at panix.com
Subject: ALERT:Senate to vote on mandatory key escrow as early as Thu June 19th!
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SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE SET TO VOTE ON MANDATORY KEY ESCROW
LEGISLATION AS EARLY AS THURSDAY JUNE 19TH! CALL NOW!
Date: June 17, 1997 Expires July 1, 1997
URL:http://www.crypto.com/ crypto-news at panix.com
Redistribution of crypto-news is allowed in its entirety.
Table of Contents
ALERT - Senate Committee Set to Vote on Key Escrow
What YOU CAN DO NOW!
Background On The Encryption Issue
How to start or stop receiving crypto-news
About This Alert
ALERT - SENATE COMMITTEE SET TO VOTE ON BILL TO GUARANTEE GOVERNMENT ACCESS
TO YOUR PRIVATE ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS
On Tuesday June 17, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Bob Kerrey (D-NE)
introduced legislation which would all but mandate that Americans provide
guaranteed government access to their private online communications and
The bill, known as "The Secure Public Networks Act of 1997" (S.909)
represents a full scale assault on your right to protect the privacy and
confidentiality of your online communications. Please take a moment to read
the instructions below and, if your Senator is a member of the Commerce
Committee, please take a moment to call your Senator TODAY!
Though offered on Capitol Hill as a compromise, the McCain-Kerrey bill is
virtually identical to draft legislation proposed earlier this year by the
Clinton Administration while doing nothing to protect the privacy and
security of Internet users. The bill closely mirrors draft legislation
proposed by the Clinton Administration earlier this Spring.
Specifically, the bill would:
* Compel Americans to Use Government-Approved Key Recovery Systems
* Make Key Recovery a Condition Of Participation in E-Commerce
* Allow Government Carte Blanche Access to Sensitive Encryption Keys
Without a Court Order
* Create New Opportunities for Cybercrimes
* Codify a low 56-bit Key Length Limit on Encryption Exports
* Create Broad New Criminal Penalties for the Use of Encryption
The full text of the bill, along with a detailed analysis, is available
online at http://www.cdt.org/crypto/
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW
On Thursday June 19, the Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to hold a
vote on S. 377, the Promotion of Commerce Online in the Digital Era
(Pro-CODE) Act - an Internet-friendly encryption reform bill sponsored by
Senators Burns (R-MT) and Leahy (D-VT).
Senator McCain, the Commerce Committee Chairman, is expected to try and
substitute his proposal for Pro-CODE - gutting the proposal and inserting
provisions which would all but mandate guaranteed government access to your
Please take a few moments to help protect your privacy and security in the
Information Age by following the simple instructions below.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
** THE COMMITTEE IS EXPECTED TO VOTE AT 9:30 AM Eastern JUNE 19 **
** IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU CALL YOUR SENATOR TODAY **
A list of Senate Commerce Committee members is printed below. If your
Senator is on the list, please call TODAY.
NOTE - If your Senator is not on the list, please visit
http://www.crypto.com/adopt and ADOPT YOUR LEGISLATOR. You will
receive targeted alerts next time your Representatives or
Senators are poised to vote on this and other critical Internet
1. If your Senator's name is on the list below, pick up the phone and
call them at 202-224-3121. Ask for your Senator's office.
Order: Frist, Abraham, Snowe, Stevens, Browe, Bryan.
* = has publicly stated opposition to the McCain-Kerrey bill.
+ = has publicly stated support to the McCain-Kerrey bill.
William Harrison Bill Frist, R-TN
Spencer Abraham, R-MI ALL THESE SENATORS ARE
Olympia Snowe, R-ME TELEPHONABLE AT 202-224-3121
Ted Stevens, R-AK
John B. Breaux, D-LA
Richard H. Bryan, D-NV
+John McCain, R-AZ, Chairman
*Conrad R. Burns, R-MT
Slade Gorton, R-WA
*Trent Lott, R-MS
Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-TX
*John Ashcroft, R-MO
*Sam Brownback, R-KS
+Ernest F. Hollings, D-SC, Ranking minority member
Daniel K. Inouye, D-HI
Wendell H. Ford, D-KY
+John D. Rockefeller, IV, D-WV
+John F. Kerry, D-MA
*Byron L. Dorgan, D-ND
*Ron Wyden, D-OR
2. Ask for the staffer that handles the encryption issue
3. Urge your Senator to OPPOSE THE McCAIN-KERREY BILL (S. 909)
at the Commerce Committee Markup on June 19:
THIS -> I am a constituent calling to urge the Senator to oppose the
McCain-Kerrey "Secure Public Networks Act" at the Committee
markup on June 19.
The bill all but mandates key-recovery encryption and represents
a grave threat to privacy and electronic commerce on the
We need a solution to this issue that protects privacy and
security on the Internet, and the solution being offered by
Senators McCain and Kerrey isn't it. I hope you will take a
strong stand on this important issue.
4. IMPORTANT! -- PLEASE LET US KNOW HOW IT WENT!
Go to the feedback page for your member of Congress at
http://www.crypto.com/feedback/ and let us know how it went. This
will help us coordinate our strategy on the ground in DC.
5. Please forward this alert to your friends and colleagues
who live in your congressional district (do not forward after
6. Finally, relax! You have done more to help fight for privacy and
security on the Internet in 5 minutes than most people do in a year!
We appreciate your support!
BACKGROUND ON THE ENCRYPTION POLICY ISSUE
Complete background information, including:
* A down-to-earth explanation of why this debate is important to
* Analysis and background on the issue
* An analysis of the Risks of Key-Recovery by leading cryptographers
* Text of the Administration draft legislation
* Text of Congressional proposals to reform US encryption policy
* Audio transcripts and written testimony from recent Congressional
Hearings on encryption policy reform
* And more!
Are all available at http://www.crypto.com/
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Encryption technologies are the locks and keys of the Information age,
enabling individuals and businesses to protect sensitive information
as it is transmitted over the Internet. As more and more individuals
and businesses come online, the need for strong, reliable, easy-to-use
encryption technologies has become a critical issue to the health and
viability of the Net.
Current US encryption policy, which limits the strength of encryption
products US companies can sell abroad, also limits the availability of
strong, easy-to-use encryption technologies in the United States. US
hardware and software manufacturers who wish to sell their products on
the global market must either conform to US encryption export limits or
produce two separate versions of the same product, a costly and
The export controls, which the NSA and FBI argue help to keep strong
encryption out of the hands of foreign adversaries, are having the
opposite effect. Strong encryption is available abroad, but because of
the export limits and the confusion created by nearly four years of
debate over US encryption policy, strong, easy-to-use privacy and
security technologies are not widely available off the shelf or "on the
net" here in the US.
A recently discovered flaw in the security of the new digital telephone
network exposed the worst aspects of the Administration's encryption
policy. Because the designers needed to be able to export their
products, the system's security was "dumbed down". Researchers
subsequently discovered that it is quite easy to break the security of the
system and intrude on what should be private conversations.
This incident underscores the larger policy problem: US companies are
at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace when competing
against companies that do not have such hindrances. And now, for the first
time in history, the Clinton Administration and members of the US Senate
have proposed DOMESTIC RESTRICTIONS on the ability of Americans to protect
their privacy and security online.
All of us care about our national security, and no one wants to make it
any easier for criminals and terrorists to commit criminal acts. But we
must also recognize encryption technologies can aid law enforcement
and protect national security by limiting the threat of industrial
espionage and foreign spying, promote electronic commerce and protecting
What's at stake in this debate is nothing less than the future of
privacy and the fate of the Internet as a secure and trusted medium for
commerce, education, and political discourse.
HOW TO START OR STOP RECEIVING CRYPTO-NEWS
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ABOUT THIS ALERT
This message was brought to you by the Center for Democracy and
Technology (http://www.cdt.org) and the Voters Telecommunications Watch
(http://www.vtw.org/), who have joined together to create the Adopt Your
Legislator Campaign - a unique and effective way of creating dialogue
between members of Congress and their Constituents on critical
For more information on the Adopt Your Legislator Campaign, please visit
end alert 06.17.97
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