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Encryption technology bolsters your privacy

 

 
For Immediate Release
(10 June 1999)
Contact:
Sue Richard
202-625-1256
suer@dittusgroup.com

 

ACP TESTIFIES BEFORE SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE--PROTECT ACT A POSITIVE STEP, BUT DOES NOT GO FAR ENOUGH

Washington, DC-- At today’s hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Jim Bidzos, vice chair, Security Dynamics Technologies, Inc. (parent company of RSA Data Security, Inc.) testified on behalf of Americans for Computer Privacy, that while S. 798, the PROTECT Act, is an improvement over current Administration encryption policy, it does not go far enough.

"ACP commends Sen. McCain for introducing the PROTECT Act," Bidzos said. "However, the legislation could be improved by further lifting current export restrictions, thereby giving all consumers access to strong encryption so they can securely purchase products from American companies. Without relaxation of export controls, U.S. manufacturers remain at a competitive disadvantage, and foreign consumers will purchase high quality, strong encryption products from foreign suppliers. The only impact of our current policy is widespread deployment of foreign designed and manufactured software and hardware."

Also at the hearing, a new study was unveiled that proves widespread availability of strong foreign encryption products around the world. The study, "Growing Development of Foreign Encryption Products in the Face of U.S. Export Regulations" ( available in PDF format) was written by Professor Lance J. Hoffman, director of the Cyberspace Policy Institute at The George Washington University and NAI Labs, a division of Network Associates, located in Glenwood, MD.

"This study shows that there are at least 805 foreign encryption products from 35 countries on the market today--a 22 percent increase just in the last 1 1/2 years," said ACP Executive Director Ed Gillespie. "Among these countries, the UK and Germany are leaders in developing strong encryption products, but Japanese products are rapidly gaining momentum. Even more disturbing is that countries that have never developed crypto products before such as Romania, South Korea and Turkey are the newest encryption producers."

"The study proves that the Administration’s claim that foreign products are inferior to U.S. products is ludicrous," Gillespie said. "Of the 805 foreign products available, 184 use strong encryption, and, on average the quality of foreign and U.S. products is comparable. The study also found that foreign companies are using U.S. export restrictions to market their own products. Other countries are taking advantage of our Administration’s shortsighted encryption policy. While they continue producing strong encryption products, the U.S. will lag behind and eventually lose our high-tech leadership in the world economy."

Cybercast Resources Available

Americans for Computer Privacy (ACP) is a broad-based coalition that brings together more than 100 companies and 40 associations representing financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications, high-tech and transportation, as well as law enforcement, civil- liberty, pro-family and taxpayer groups. ACP supports policies that advance the rights of American citizens to encode information without fear of government intrusion, and advocates the lifting of current export restrictions on U.S.-made encryption. To learn more, please visit our web site at http:// www.computerprivacy.org


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