[ISN] Slip of the Tongue Lightens up Encryption Hearing

From: cult hero (jerichoat_private)
Date: Tue May 25 1999 - 23:01:24 PDT

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    May 25, 1999
    Slip of the Tongue Lightens up Encryption Hearing
    WASHINGTON - The Clinton Administration's point man on encryption policy
    silenced his Congressional critics - momentarily, anyway -- with a slip
    of the tongue at a House hearing last week.
    "Never underestimate the stupidity of some of the people we have to deal
    with," William A. Reinsch, Under Secretary of Commerce for the Bureau of
    Export Administration, said while being grilled about whether terrorists
    and criminals would be nave enough to use the technology being pushed by
    the Administration. 
    The House International Relations subcommittee meeting fell silent and
    Reinsch turned bright red as he realized the double meaning of what he had
    said. As the silence turned to laughter, Reinsch tried to backtrack,
    blurting, "I didn't say that." 
    But it was enough to silence Representative Bradley J. Sherman. Sherman
    promptly ended his grilling of Reinsch, who along with representatives of
    the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was
    testifying in defense of the Administration's encryption policy. The
    Administration has tied any loosening of export controls on strong
    encryption to the development of technology that would guarantee law
    enforcement easy access to criminals' communications.
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