Encryption Legalities

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 In The News

(things don't change much...)

7/7/2000 http://www.internetnews.com/:
Lawsuit Accuses Netscape of Evesdropping
[July 7] New accusations about "spyware" were leveled Friday -- this time Netscape Communications finds itself at the center of the controversy. ... (which notes) "Recently, RealNetworks (NASDAQ:RNWK) faced similar criticism although not a lawsuit for a utility called Download Demon. ...
Is Big Brother Teaming With Microsoft?

Dateline 9/7/99 from Jim Williams - About.com Guide"

"...In a press release, Andrew Fernandes, the scientist who found the back door, states that this back door affects Windows 95, 98, NT and Windows 2000. According to the press release there are actually two "keys". One is used by Microsoft to implement the cryptographic services, the other is to be used by the NSA. with this key the government could decrypt anything that you thought was secured by your operating system, and without your knowledge. Because of this alleged back door, your 128 bit encryption that is built into Windows NT 4.0 is negated. This hole would allow direct changes to the operating system by anyone who has access to that key. It also follows that any secure communications through your Internet Explorer browser is also compromised.

Microsoft strongly denies the allegations and states that "We don't share the keys with any public agencies." By making that statement however, Microsoft admits that a second key does in fact exist. This begs the question, why is there a second key? This also forces me to ask why the second key is named NSAKEY? ..."

From EPIC Alert newsletter Sept. 9, 1999

Newly discovered documents reveal the prominent financial and supervisory role of the U.S. Secret Service in the Image Data pilot programs. EPIC recently obtained these documents through Freedom of Information Act requests.

Image Data LLC seeks to establish a national database of photographs and personal information - including social security numbers to prevent credit card and check fraud. The system proposed by Image Data, TrueID, would allow for instantaneous identification checks at the point of purchase by displaying photographs of the customer. ...

...new {via FOIA} documents reveal the extent to which the U.S. Secret Service is involved in Image Data's pilot programs.

...Also included in these initial proposals are timelines for monthly reports and meetings with the U.S. Secret Service in Washington, D.C.

...Some of the FOIA documents obtained by EPIC are at: http://www.epic.org/privacy/imagedata/image_data_scan.html from 'EPIC ALERT' Newsletter: Volume 6.14 September 9, 1999

From EPIC 4/22/98:
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on April 14 introduced the Promote Reliable On-Line Transactions to Encourage Commerce and Trade (PROTECT) Act of 1999 (S.798), which is designed to promote international electronic commerce and limit the power of the federal government to mandate encryption requirements for the domestic market. The bill prohibits mandatory access to encryption keys or key recovery information by the United States government or the government of any state. The bill would also permit the export of unlimited strength encryption to members of NATO, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Exports to other nations would limited to strengths of 64-bits.

...The introduction of the legislation is also significant because it appears to signal a change in Sen. McCain's position on the encryption issue. As Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. McCain has in the past opposed any liberalization of existing encryption policy.

Additional information on encryption, including the text of the PROTECT Act, is available at: http://www.epic.org/crypto/

This a summerized abstract is from:

Edited by Al Bredenberg of Enterprise Interactive
(Re-edited by me)

IBM ACTION ENCOURAGES WEB SITES TO POST CLEAR PRIVACY POLICIES - IBM..second-biggest advertiser on the Internet, has decided to avoide advertising on any Web site that does not post clearly what information about a web surfer is being collected and how it will be used... (Wall Street Journal 31 Mar 99)


Claiming it is merely resolving a dispute over how local and long- distance phone companies must compensate each other for calls accessing the Internet, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that all such calls fall within its jurisdiction as regulator of interstate communications.

Some consumer groups are concerned that the FCC ruling will ultimately lead to per-minute charges for Internet access in the future; however, FCC Chairman William E. Kennard says they don't have to worry: "Consumers are used to dialing a local phone number to get access to the Internet, and they are used to paying that access as a local call. Nothing that we are doing in this item will change that." (New York Times 26 Feb 99) (via Al Bredenberg's THE "NETRESULTS" NEWS SERVICE 5 March 1999

Intel Backs Off - or do they?
Dateline: Updated 1/31/99
Earlier this week, amidst a cloud of controversy, Intel backed out of plans to ship the utility's default from active on to off. This utility is what's used to change the accessibility of the chips ID number. Ever since the chip-maker announced its plans to include a unique ID number in each of its new Pentium III CPUs, concerned users and privacy groups have had more questions than answers. ...

Another Blow In The Crypto Wars: IBM Claims Unbreakable Code

(an excellent overall article - ABC News 8/25/98)

The Government Has Our Numbers - Wired 7/3/98 ...for instance, the Department of Health and Human Services collects the Social Security numbers of all new employees in a "new hires" database.

From aj:

In a 'best effort' to reduce risk and thus insure a greater degree of security and privacy, the cryptographic method is the 'weapon' of choice by many people in the electronic arena. Whether for national defense, law enforcement, human rights, commerce or personal interest, the 'right' to use this method/weapon is subject, in my view, to two basic considerations - what you think about it and what 'they' think about it.

I've taken (am still taking) a concentrated look at the subject and below are some the more informative people and papers I have found useful for forming an opinion. And it is my hope that everyone will take at least some time to be exposed to the issues. These pages are more like scratch notes for my own study and if you'd like to suggest a resource...

I don't propose to explain c r y p t o g r a p h y (there are links to that). I just pick up right in the middle of hot debate. Nor do I try to dictate the limits of privacy but, rather, try to point to a r e n a s to be aware of. I support both to whatever limits tolleration will allow. :-)I support free speech

A.J. Ward

P.S. My thanks to Tripod for providing this free space.

And to Mail City for free, web-based email.

- oh, and mouse around... :-)

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

A Short History of The Bill of Rights from the ACLU. - Perhaps a bit selfserving but well makes the point of "eternal vigilance".

Hobbes' Internet Timeline by Robert H Zakon

c.201011 : that page is AWOL! but their (isoc.org) Site Map does reveal: Hitstories of the Internet

A Brief History of the Internet by Bruce Sterling

c.201011 : page gone. EFF does offer their: Hall Of Shame which "...collects the worst of the worst."

Cryptography Timeline by Carl Ellison

c.201011 is '404'

A history & philosophy of free software: 'The GNU Project' by Richard Stallman

The First Amendment Handbook

Who quotes 'The First Amendment':
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Data Recovery Labs' Security and Encryption Resources (c.2009 via Helen Stevens)

c.201011 that specific page is gone but their 'Site Map' reveals a lot of interesting material - e.g.:
  • Search Engines Through the Years
  • Ten C's for Evaluating Internet Resources
  • Security on the Web
  • The History of Computing
  • Glossary of Electronic Terms
  • Hacker's Dictionary
  • Women in Computer Science
  • Ancient Greek Computer
  • What is Overclocking?
  • How To Back Up a Hard Drive
  • The Computer Virus Guide
  • A Guide to PGP Encryption (a good review on how it is used today ; c.2010)
    (to list a few - and ,oh yeah, state by state (in US) listings for their 'data recovery' centers nationwide)

    c.201011 : Beth Shelton, "I hope I'm not bothering you, but ... you might also want to add this link to your page:
    bar codes inc.com's guide-to-encryption - It has some good information on encryption and cryptography. Thanks again!"

    Under the heading: Encryptions Laws:

    "In 1998, the then American President Mr. Bill Clinton agreed on the “Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)”. According to the act, the production and dissemination or even using certain cryptanalytic methods and techniques would be considered a criminal offence. ..."

    And offered the following under 'Encryption Resources':

  • Encryption Resources: Information about encryption and programs that provide encryption services.
  • Encryption: The Information Technology Service at the University of Iowa provides some resources on the topic.
  • WinZip Encryption: The article shows how you can encrypt files with WinZip.
  • History of Encryption: Collection of resources on
  • Encryption: Article outlining why we need encryption and the issues sur
  • Security & Encryption: UC Davis provides some pointers on computer security and encryption.
  • Encryption Options: The University of Kentucky provides some options for encryption.
  • Cryptography & Security: The page at MIT provides a lot of resources on the subject.
  • Encryption for Kids: Easy to understand information about encryption and cryptography.
  • History of Computer Cryptography and Secrecy Systems: Outlines many types of computer-based cryptography.
  • Suite B Cryptography: The National Security Agency provides information on the program.
  • Chaotic Cryptography: The study offers insight into the study and practice of chaotic cryptography.
  • Algebraic Cryptography Center: The resource center at Stevens Institute of Technology provides information on cryptography research, publications, and more.
  • Cryptography: A good place to learn about the history, components, and scope of cryptography.
  • Encryption Issues

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