[ISN] 'Back door' doesn't get very far

From: mea culpa (jerichot_private)
Date: Wed Jul 01 1998 - 05:30:13 PDT

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    Forwarded From: illusions <illusionst_private>
    'Back door' doesn't get very far 
    A U.S. government panel has failed in a two-year effort to design a
    federal computer security system that includes ''back doors,'' a feature
    that would enable snooping by law enforcement agencies, people familiar
    with the effort said this week. The failure casts further doubt on the
    Clinton administration policy -- required for government agencies and
    strongly encouraged for the private sector -- of including such back doors
    in computer encryption technology used to protect computer data and
    communications, according to outside experts.
    But administration officials said the panel, which is set to expire in
    July, simply needed more time. The 22-member panel appointed by the
    secretary of commerce in 1996 concluded at a meeting last week that it
    could not overcome the technical hurdles involved in creating a
    large-scale infrastructure that would meet the needs of law enforcers,
    panel members said. The group was tapped to write a formal government plan
    known as a ''Federal Information Processing Standard,'' or FIPS, detailing
    how government agencies should build systems including back doors. 
     - San Jose Mercury News
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