USA urges ban on encryption products over the Internet
Letter sent last May by Ms Reno to German Federal Secretary of Justice Herta Daeubler-Gmelin.
Dear Minister Däubler-Gmelin:
I wish to thank you and your Government for you efforts to achieve a fair resolution regarding multilateral export controls on encryption products at the recent Wassenaar plenary session on December 2-3, 1998. While no Nation, including the United States, was completely satisfied, I think we made significant progress toward a regime that can support the interests of national security and public safety in the face of the challenges posed by the increasing use of encryption internationally. Given the divergent cryptography policies that the Wassenaar Nations have supported in the past, and the continuing controversy that cryptography policy continues to generate, that 33 Nations managed to find common ground augurs well for our future ability to find solutions that satisfy the divergent needs of privacy, electronic commerce, national security, and public safety.
Much work remains to be done. In particular, I believe we must soon address the risks posed by electronic distribution of encryption software. Although the Wassenaar Nations have now reached agreement to control the distribution of mass market encryption software of certain cryptographic strength, some Wassenaar Nations continue not to control encryption software that is distributed over the Internet, either because the software is in the "public domain" or because those Nations do not control distribution of intangible items. While I recognize that this issue is controversial, unless we address this situation, use of the Internet to distribute encryption products will render Wassenaar's controls immaterial.
I look forward to our continuing discussions on these and other issues. And again, thank you for your past and future considerations of these issues.
Sincerely, Janet Reno
(Source is known to the editors)
Letter sent last May by Ms Reno to German Federal Secretary of Justice Herta Daeubler-Gmelin.http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/5/5124/1.html
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