[ISN] EPIC crypto conference report, from time.com/Netly News

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Tue Jun 09 1998 - 02:14:41 PDT

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    Forwarded From: "Jay D. Dyson" <jdysonat_private>
    Courtesy of Cryptography List.
    Posted by Jonathan Gregg <jgreggat_private>
    Fish & Barrel
    by Declan McCullagh
    For seven years the savviest of the online privacy mavens, a few dozen
    select cryptoscenti, have gathered in Washington, D.C. 
    Held each June, the Electronic Privacy Information Center's annual
    encryption conference gave them a chance to kick back, catch up -- and, of
    course, bemoan the U.S. government's latest attempts to coerce everyone
    into using only data-scrambling software with backdoors for government
    Sound obscure? Well, it was, for a while. 
    But now, dozens of congressional hearings and millions of high-tech
    lobbying dollars later, the EPIC conference has outgrown its cozy origins
    on the top floor of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace -- so
    much so that today's conference had to be moved to a downtown hotel to
    accommodate the nearly 300 attendees. 
    One thing that shows no signs of changing, though, is the positions of the
    hapless government representatives whom EPIC lines up on panel after panel
    so the audience (very politely, of course) can take potshots at them, like
    gleeful teens aiming their BB guns at a row of empty soda cans. Today was
    no exception. 
    Top Justice Department official Robert Litt showed up to defend the
    controversial White House rule banning overseas sales of secure encryption
    products, but in response to a question admitted he had never read a
    crucial report by the National Research Council that said such rules were
    misguided. (Later, a Canadian crypto official said that even they had read
    the study and "like it very much.") 
    At lunch, Jim Bidzos, president of RSA Data Security, offered the
    unsurprising prediction that no encryption legislation -- bad or good --
    would pass Congress this year, and the only thing that will eliminate
    current export controls is near-irreversible harm to American companies
    when their unhindered overseas competitors gain the upper hand. 
    "This policy is badly broken," Bidzos said. No need to decode that message.
    - --By Declan McCullagh/Washington
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