[ISN] Global Campaign To Remove Crypto Restrictions

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Wed Sep 16 1998 - 07:08:13 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Paul Hart <Paul.Hartat_private>
    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, Newsbytes via NewsEdge Corporation : A global coalition
    of Internet civil liberties organizations has called for the removal of
    all restrictions on the export of cryptography imposed by governments
    around the world.
    Members of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC) have sent a
    statement to the technical expert representatives of the 33 nations who
    are signatory to the Wassenaar Arrangement. The statement calls for the
    removal of cryptography from the Arrangement.
    Cryptography is a technology used to scramble computer files and
    communications to prevent them from being read by those not authorized to
    do so. It is used to protect everything from medical records and private
    e-mail to ATM transactions and is essential for electronic commerce, to
    ensure authenticity and privacy of transactions.
    The export of software products using cryptography is restricted by the
    Wassenaar Arrangement, a regime set up by 33 nations to control trade in
    conventional arms and dual-use technology to prevent the build-up of
    military capabilities.
    Governments regard cryptography as a weapon and have argued that free
    availability of unbreakable secret codes in communications would aid
    terrorism and crime.
    "Such controls can serve only to increase the vulnerability of the
    information infrastructures on which society is increasingly dependent,"
    said GILC. "Rather than hampering crime and terrorism, restrictions on
    cryptography will create an environment in which they will flourish."
    Part of the Wassenaar Arrangement states that it will not impede bona fide
    civil transactions. GILC argues that in restricting the free trade in
    software containing cryptography, governments are doing exactly that, and
    holding back development of electronic commerce and secure communications.
    "The Wassenaar nations now have a duty to remove all export controls that
    impact on such products in order to allow the emergence of the open
    international market that is needed to foster their development," said
    Brian Gladman, crypto policy coordinator for GILC member Cyber-Rights &
    Cyber-Liberties (UK). 
    Other members of GILC include the Electronic Frontier Foundation,
    Electronic Frontiers Australia, NetAction, the Electronic Privacy
    Information Center, and the Center for Democracy and Technology.
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