---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 12:07:24 -0500 From: Declan McCullagh <declanat_private> To: politechat_private ***** SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT READ YOUR CYBERMAIL? Time Magazine February 9, 1998 Page 20 A few years ago, ED GILLESPIE was busy orchestrating the Republican takeover of Congress as the G.O.P.'s top spinmeister. Now the man behind the Contract with America is shifting to high tech as he battles a new foe: a plan to ban software capable of encoding messages so securely that police can't crack them. A law proposed by the FBI would mandate an electronic peephole in all encryption programs so that government agents can read your files. The FBI claims this is necessary to protect against criminals. But Silicon Valley chiefs see this as a threat, and are equipping Gillespie with a multimillion-dollar lobbying and media budget. Joining him to woo Democrats is lobbyist JACK QUINN, former counsel to Bill Clinton and ex-chief of staff to Al Gore. --By Declan McCullagh/Washington ********** For details on the new encryption campaign, check out today's Netly News (netlynews.com) at: http://cgi.pathfinder.com/netly/opinion/0,1042,1722,00.html Excerpt: "The alliance hopes this preemptive grassroots-and-lobbying strategy will be enough to win a quick victory in Congress. Firms desperately want to prevent the FBI's "key escrow" back doors from being forced down their throats (or, failing that, to at least cut an acceptable deal), but they also hope they can persuade Congress to deep-six the White House's restrictions on overseas sales of secure software. "They'll have their chance soon enough. Sen. John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) promised to hold hearings in his subcommittee this month. In the House, word from a Republican whip meeting is that an encryption bill will be ushered to the floor for a vote early this year. But three different bills exist -- one favoring industry, one that's neutral and one that includes the FBI's wish list. Which one emerges is crucial. A staffer for Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas), House majority leader, told me the FBI's version of the bill is likely to be presented for a vote because of the "black limousine problem" -- whenever high tech appears to be winning, black limos converge on Capitol Hill and disgorge top government officials who, in secret briefings, warn congressmen that the future of national security is at stake."
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