FIDNET PROPOSAL POINTS OUT NEED FOR STRONG ENCRYPTION
Washington, DC-- The following statement was issued today by Ed Gillespie, Executive Director of Americans
for Computer Privacy (ACP) in response to the Clinton Administration’s proposal for the
formation of the Federal Intrusion Detection Network (Fidnet) computer monitoring system:
"I am amazed by a report of an Administration proposal to establish 'Fidnet' to protect
Americans' electronic information and our nation's critical infrastructure from electronic
attack, at a time when it is demagoging legislation on Capitol Hill that would provide the
very protections they say our country so desperately needs. Strong encryption is the
solution, offering the protection for our data networks that law enforcement and national
security agencies seek, without establishing a ‘big brother’monitoring system.
Like the third-party key recovery plan advocated by the FBI, this 'big brother' approach
to dealing with the technological realities of the 21st century is an affront to the
constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. America’s law enforcement and national
security needs are best served when the strongest possible encryption is used to protect
our nation’s infrastructure. Only then will we eliminate the current vulnerabilities of
federal government systems, as pointed out just this week when the Labor Department cited
problems with the release of sensitive data. In response, the Labor Department
recommended the use of strong encryption.
Federal dollars would be better spent on new technologies and training that would enable
the government to deal with threats to our networks, rather than creating new
bureaucracies that would cost millions—and could be abused by law enforcement agencies."