Re: Freeh

Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Tue, 02 Jun 1998 07:50:44 -0700

> You going?

Oh Gawd. My two favorite people. There's two things
that rank up there with technology and that's politics
and sex. Hunter S. Thompson in his Gonzo papers
volume 4 claims that politics is 'Better than Sex'.[1]


p.s. No Byars comments about not doing it right, nor
F&F sitting in a tree....


> Freeh, Feinstein Plan to Meet
> With Tech Chiefs on Encryption
> Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Louis Freeh, Sen. Diane Feinstein
> (D., Calif.) and a host of technology-industry executives will meet next
> week to discuss export restrictions on data-scrambling encryption software
> and law-enforcement demands for a controversial back-door decoding feature.
> Issue Briefing: Encryption
> The June 9 meeting, first reported by the on-line edition of Interactive
> Week, will be attended by Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, Netscape
> Communications Corp. Chief Executive Officer James Barksdale, America Online
> Inc. CEO Steve Case, AT&T Corp. CEO C. Michael Armstrong, Sun Microsystems
> Inc. CEO Scott McNealy and other executives. It would be the first
> face-to-face meeting between Mr. Freeh and the industry leaders.
> "It's always nice to sit down and talk," an FBI spokesperson said. "We're
> hoping the industry will work with law enforcement to bring to the American
> public socially responsible encryption services and products."
> Companies have been pushing for permission to sell the most secure forms of
> encryption software abroad. But Mr. Freeh and others have called for a
> mandatory "key recovery" feature, which would give law-enforcement agencies
> the ability to decode encrypted communications between suspected criminals
> if officials obtain a court order. There has even been talk of including key
> recovery in the U.S.
> Encryption has become one of the high-tech industry's political hot
> potatoes. Under Presidents Bush and Clinton, the White House has limited the
> exports of encryption software to weaker forms that can be cracked with the
> aid of sophisticated computers. The FBI has warned that encryption can
> potentially be used to conceal terrorist acts and drug operations.
> Software companies protest that export controls are impairing their ability
> to compete with overseas competitors, particularly in the burgeoning market
> for electronic-commerce software. The companies argue that the government
> restrictions on encryption are especially futile given the ease with which
> the software can be distributed over the Internet.
> Meanwhile, privacy advocates have cried foul over key-recovery proposals,
> which they perceive as government attempts to improve their powers of
> surveillance. A recent hearing by the Senate Judiciary Constitution
> Subcommittee featured claims by a few scholars that some of the encryption
> measures backed by the White House are unconstitutional.
> The battle has split ranks on Capitol Hill. Some of President Clinton's
> fellow Democrats have joined the attack on the White House's encryption
> policies. However, Ms. Feinstein has supported key recovery, much to the
> displeasure of the many technology companies based in her home state. Ms.
> Feinstein, who organized the June 9 meeting, has said that there "should be
> some means for recovery of encrypted information by law enforcement that
> falls within the strict confines of due process."
> A highly critical letter from 26 high-tech executives, including Messrs.
> Barksdale, Case and McNealy, was sent to Ms. Feinstein in January. The
> letter stated that "California companies and industries nationwide are
> united in opposition to domestic and export controls."
> Although the meeting will feature a lot of big names, experts don't think it
> will do much to resolve the debate. "We're talking about the highest level
> of people in the computer industry," said Dave Banisar, a lawyer with the
> Electronic Privacy Information Center, which wants fewer restrictions. "Bill
> Gates doesn't make idle trips to Washington, and he certainly doesn't make
> idle trips to meet with his arch-nemeses from other companies. It's a good
> indication of how serious the computer industry is about this issue."
> The Commerce Department has warned that encryption-export restrictions are
> giving foreign companies a market advantage, but there has been debate even
> within the Clinton administration over the matter. Earlier this year,
> Commerce Secretary William Daley said an effort to find a compromise among
> federal agencies and with the industry was a "failure."
> The White House officially opposes domestic controls on encryption but U.S.
> Attorney General Janet Reno has said "without encryption safeguards, all
> Americans will be endangered."