[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

The Newspaper sez J.Clark sez "Uncle Sam Needed for Net Security"


<begin quote>
   daily news
   Uncle Sam Needed for Net Security
   By Anne Knowles
          November 29, 1995, 12 p.m. PT
          BOSTON--Getting the government involved in maintaining
Internet data privacy may not be popular, but it's going to be
necessary. That's the message Netscape Communications chair Jim
Clark delivered this morning in his keynote address to an audience
here at Email World and Internet Expo.
          To secure Net communications, the government will need to
have access to private data exchanges using what is known as a key
escrow security system, said Clark. He added that an invincible
security system for the Net is possible, but such a system
won't be built unless the government has a stake in it. "That's
where key escrow comes in," said Clark.
          Key escrow is a controversial security system advocated by
the Clinton administration that gives the government access to
private Net communications. It uses public key cryptography, a
system in which messages are coded and decoded using a set of
private and public keys. In key escrow, the private key is held
by both the individual or group and the government. The
government can use the key ostensibly to read messages for
intelligence and national security reasons.
          Currently the U.S. government restricts export of strong
keys in excess of 40 bits so it can break the code if necessary. The
weaker keys, however, make the messages vulnerable to other
attacks as well. A group of French scientists, for example,
cracked Netscape software using 40-bit keys by employing a
network of supercomputers over the course of a week. According
to Clark, though, restricting the export of stronger software
isn't the answer. "That's the wrong solution; we need
bulletproof keys."
          Netscape's stock price soared $20 yesterday based on a buy
recommendation by Goldman Sachs. The stock continues to climb
today: the share price is up $9 to $140. Clark said Netscape is
trying to keep pace with everyone's expectations. "The Internet
is a gargantuan opportunity, but it's up to us to take advantage of
          Expect to see more fluctuations. Said Steve Weiss, a
principal at Product Management Group in San Francisco, "Anything like
this that is so closely allied to wishes, bets, and beliefs is likely
to move up and down quite a bit." The run up is a reflection of the
promise the Internet holds for investors.  After all, added Weiss,
"the stock market is the mirror of the soul of the Internet."

          [Additonal reporting by Denise Shelton.]

<end quote>

Version: 2.6.2
Comment: Auto-signed under Unix with 'BAP' Easy-PGP v1.01