Magazine article Security Management

Encryption

Magazine article Security Management

Encryption

Article excerpt

Various versions of a bill (H.R. 850) that would lift all export controls on encryption have been approved by five House committees and will now be considered by the full House. The bill, introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), would permit unlimited domestic use of any encryption product and prohibit the federal government from imposing a key escrow system (designed to allow government access to encrypted material).

The House Judiciary Committee, the Intelligence Committee, and the Armed Services Committee all passed the bill with its basic provisions intact, while two other committees adopted amendments that significantly altered the content of the bill.

The Commerce Committee added an amendment by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) that would impose criminal penalties of up to ten years in prison for those who fail to decrypt information specified by a court order.

The International Relations Committee passed several amendments, including one that would allow the government to ban the export of specific encryption products to an individual, entity, or country if there is credible evidence that such products will be used for military, terrorist, or criminal purposes. …

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