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Upcoming Key Escrow Meetings



August 22, 1995

MEMORANDUM

From:  Ed Roback, NIST

Subject:  Upcoming Key Escrow Meetings

Attached for your information are notices of two upcoming
key escrow-related meetings.  The first, to be held on
September 6-7 at NIST will focus on two principal topics: 
1) discussion of finalizing the criteria for the
exportability of software key escrow encryption with
64-bit key space; and 2) the desirable characteristics
for key escrow agents.  The second will be held on
September 15 at the Gaithersburg Hilton and will focus on
the development of Federal Information Processing
Standards for key escrow encryption, specifically to
include software implementations.

You are invited to attend one or both meetings and, if
you so choose, to speak at these meetings.  I hope to
have sufficient time for discussion, and therefore
encourage presentations to be clearly focused on the
topic at hand.

If you wish to attend, please notify me [sic] secretary, Arlene
Carlton on 301/975-3240, fax: 301/948-1784 or e-mail:
[email protected]  Also, please let her know if you
would like to make a presentation with your
recommendations on either topic, or propose an additional
topic.  If you have any additional questions or
suggestions, please feel free to contact me on
301-975-3696.

Attachments (2)

             ----------------------------

                 Meeting Announcement:
                   Key Escrow Issues

The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards
and Technology invites industry representatives and other
interested parties to a meeting on September 6 and 7, to
discuss issues related to key escrow encryption.  While
not limited, two principal agenda items for discussion
will be: 1) developing the criteria for software key
escrow encryption exportability and 2) the desirable
characteristics for U.S. key escrow agents.

Industry has asked the government for criteria for the
export of software key escrow encryption.  Rather than
simply publishing criteria, however, the Administration
desires consultations with industry in preparing final
criteria for publication.   This session of the meeting
will begin with a presentation of the government's
perspective of the desirable criteria, followed by a
chance for other participants to offer their thoughts on
this issue as well as reaction to the federal
perspective.  Under acceptable criteria, the government
is willing to allow for the export of strong cryptography
(e.g., DES) when coupled with a key escrow mechanism.  It
is anticipated that this would be coupled with a one-time
product review (e.g., as is the case for RC2/RC4
products) by the Department of State.  Following such
approval, the Department of Commerce would administer
export regulations.

The second session of the meeting will address the
desirable characteristics of acceptable U.S. escrow
agents.  Clearly, if export of key escrow encryption
products will be allowed, the cryptographic keys must be
stored with some entity.  This session will address the
criteria for the approval of such organizations.

It may also discuss what sort of legal protections, if
any, may be necessary to provide, for example, against
unauthorized release of encryption keys.  Follow-up
meetings to both issues may be necessary.

Other related topics may be included, time permitting. 
Note that a separate meeting has been scheduled for
9/15/95 to discuss the development of federal standards
for key escrow encryption.

Government representatives will attend from the Office of
Science and Technology Policy, the Department of State,
the Department of Justice, the Department of Commerce,
the National Security Agency, and the Federal Bureau of
Investigation.

If you would like to make a presentation with your
recommendations on either topic, or propose an additional
topic, please contact Ed Roback at NIST on 301-975-3696. 
Presentations may be limited in length to accommodate all
speakers.  The meeting will be open to the public,
although seating is limited. Advance registration is
requested, please contact Arlene Carlton on 301/975-3240,
fax: 301/948-1784 or e-mail: [email protected]  The
meeting will be held at the NIST in Gaithersburg,
Maryland.

8/17/95

              ---------------------------

                Workshop Announcement:
        Developing Federal Key Escrow Standards

On September 15, 1995, the Commerce Department's National
Institute of Standards and Technology will hold an
exploratory workshop on developing Federal Information
Processing Standards (FIPS) for key escrow encryption,
specifically to include software implementations.  This
effort is being initiated to further the Administration's
commitment to federal use of key escrow encryption.

Industry representatives and other interested parties are
invited to the workshop to provide their perspectives on
the desirable characteristics of key escrow encryption
standards to NIST and other federal officials. 
Government representatives also will present their
objectives and preliminary approach to this standards
development process.  Discussion will also include
proposals for follow-on activities.

For discussion purposes, one initial option for this
standards activity may be to create a generic key escrow
encryption standard containing criteria for federal use
of key escrow techniques implemented in either software
or hardware.  This high-level standard could then be
supplemented with lists of validated key escrow
techniques.  (Currently FIPS 185, "Escrowed Encryption
Standard," a hardware-based standard, is the only
FIPS-approved key escrow technique.)  Guidance would also
be needed to guide selection of appropriate key escrow
techniques for particular applications.  Key escrowing
will be used by federal agencies (and others, if they so
choose) in conjunction with FIPS-approved encryption
techniques.  Development and implementation of such
standards are necessary to guide federal agencies in
effectively and securely implementing key escrow
encryption.

If you would like to make a presentation with your
recommendations for the development of federal key escrow
standards, please contact Ed Roback at NIST on
301-975-3696. Presentations may be limited in length to
accommodate all speakers.

The meeting is open to the public, although seating is
limited to approximately 100 individuals.  Advance
registration is requested; please call Arlene Carlton on
301/975-3240, fax: 301/948-1784 or e-mail:
[email protected] to register.  The meeting will be
held at Gaithersburg Hilton Hotel, 620 Perry Parkway,
Gaithersburg, Maryland.

8/17/95 

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