[ISN] Another free country bites the dust

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Mon Aug 31 1998 - 01:31:15 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Paul Hart <Paul.Hartat_private>
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    The Economist Intelligence Unit via NewsEdge Corporation : While EU member
    states inch towards crafting a common approach on Internet encryption
    software, a patchwork of national laws is taking shape. Spain is the
    latest EU member state to put encryption rules on its statute books. 
    Its recently enacted Telecommunications Law 1998 grants Spaniards the
    right to use "strong cryptography", but the law's opponents note that it
    also obliges anyone who wants to use such software to deposit an
    electronic 'key' with a government-approved agency (known as a "Trusted
    Third Party", or TTP). They argue that TTPs undermine the right to
    privacy, compromise the security of encryption software and discourage
    people from sending sensitive information (eg credit card numbers) across
    open networks like the Internet. The police insist such measures are
    needed to enable them to tap scrambled e-mail messages sent by criminals
    and terrorists.
    Laws vary widely across the EU, with France's the most draconian: any
    French citizen wishing to use encryption software produced abroad must
    obtain permission from the prime minister. The UK recently unveiled plans
    for a voluntary TTP licensing scheme, and several other countries have
    legislation pending. At the other end of the spectrum are Finland, Sweden,
    Denmark and Germany, which have no controls. 
    Agreement on a co-ordinated EU-wide approach to encryption policy has not
    yet been achieved. EU justice ministers emphasised the need to examine
    encryption software issues after a meeting in the UK earlier this year.
    But little progress has been made in discussions between national police
    experts from all 15 member states.
    <<The Economist Intelligence Unit -- 08-26-98>>
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