Sen. Burns Announces New Bill To Lift Crypto Export


Craig A. Johnson

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  ____/____/__/ The Center for Democracy and Technology  /____/    
  Volume 2, Number 12
     A briefing on public policy issues affecting civil liberties
 CDT POLICY POST Volume 2, Number 12                       March 28,

 CONTENTS: (1) Sen. Burns Announces New Bill To Lift Crypto Export
           (2) Subscription Information
           (3) About CDT, contacting us

This document may be redistributed freely provided it remains in its
       ** Excerpts may be re-posted by permission (•••@••.•••) **


The battle to roll back the Clinton Administration's encryption policy
escalated on Thursday when Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) announced that
he will introduce a new proposal to repeal restrictions on encryption
exports and to encourage the growth of electronic commerce. Senator
Burns announced the bill via a teleconference during a special session
at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference in Boston, MA.

The bill, titled the "Promoting Commerce On-Line in the Digital Age
Act" (PROCODE), joins two recent bills introduced earlier this month
(S. 1587 and HR 3011) designed to encourage the development of strong,
easy-to-use privacy and security products for the Internet.

The Burns bill is different from the other proposals in several
respects. Specifically, the latest bill does not contain any new
criminal provisions or provisions imposing liability on third party
key holders.

In his presentation today at CFP, Sen. Burns outlined his new bill.
Among other things, the "Promoting Commerce On-Line in the Digital Age
Act" would:

* Allow for the unrestricted export of "mass-market" or
  encryption programs, including such products as Pretty Good Privacy
  and popular World Wide Web software. Encryption software and
  hardware for sale in local software stores or widely available on
  the Internet would all be exportable under the proposed Act.

* Require the Secretary of Commerce to allow the unrestricted export
  other encryption technologies if products of similar strength are
  generally available outside the United States.

* Prohibit the Federal Government from imposing mandatory key-escrow
  encryption policies on the domestic market.

* Limit the authority of the Secretary of Commerce to set standards
  encryption products.

CDT applauds this effort by Senator Burns to put strong privacy and
security technologies in the hands of individuals and businesses. CDT
is also pleased that the Senator chose the Computers, Freedom, and
Privacy Conference as a forum to announce this proposal. The choice of
CFP demonstrates that the Internet community is becoming an
increasingly important political constituency.

CDT looks forward to working with Senator Burns and other members of
Congress interested in policies which encourage the development and
widespread use of strong privacy protecting technologies for the
Global Information Infrastructure.


For more information on the cryptography policy debate, including the
text of Senator Burns' proposal when available, visit CDT's
Cryptography Issues Web Page:


Center for Democracy and Technology  +1.202.637.9800
 Daniel Weitzner, Deputy Director, <•••@••.•••>
 Alan Davidson, Staff Counsel, <•••@••.•••>


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