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ALERT: S.1726 vote postponed; keep calling! Offices are swamped! (9/11/96)



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                SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE VOTE POSTPONED
         SENATOR BURNS ENCLOSES LETTER OF COMMITTMENT TO CRYPTO

          WE CONTINUE TO RECEIVE REPORTS OF "HEAVY CALLS" TO
        OFFICES.  KEEP THE PRESSURE UP!  WE'RE HOLDING OUR OWN!

                         September 12, 1996

      Please widely redistribute this document with this banner intact
                        until September 30, 1996

________________________________________________________________________
CONTENTS
        The Latest News
        What You Can Do Now
        Background / What To Expect This Week
        Description of S.1726, Pro-CODE Bill
        Chronology of Pro-Crypto Legislation
        For More Information / Supporting Organizations

________________________________________________________________________
THE LATEST NEWS

The Senate Commerce Committee vote on S.1726 (Pro-CODE) originally set for
today (Thursday 9/12) has been postponed. We have been told that the change
was largely due to committee scheduling issues, and the Committee staff and
have indicated that they are still committeed to marking up S. 1726 within
the next.  More information should be available shortly.

Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT), co-author of S. 1726, asked us to forward the
following note to the net.community:

   X-POP3-Rcpt: [email protected]
   From: [email protected]
   Date: Thu, 12 Sep 96 09:55:35 EST
   To: [email protected]
   Subject: Open Letter to the Internet from Senator Burns

     The Commerce Committee markup on Pro-CODE, S. 1726, that we had
     expected to have held on Thursday, September 12 has been postponed.  I
     am fully committed to taking Pro-CODE to markup, out of committee and
     onto the floor of the Senate in this Congress.  I believe that this
     legislation is vital to ensuring the continued strength of America's
     high-tech community and the privacy of its citizens.  I would like to
     thank the many thousands of Netizens who have expressed their support
     for Pro-CODE.

     Sincerely,

     U.S. Senator Conrad Burns

It is critical to keep your phone calls and faxes coming into the offices
of the Committee members listed below.  Based on the feedback we are
receiving from callers and conversations with Capitol Hill staff, the
response from the Net has been strong and continuous.  Thank you to all who
have taken the time to call Congress to voice your support for encryption
policy reform.

If you have not yet done so, please take a moment to call the committee
members below.  If you have a little extra time on your hands, between now
and the middle of next week please make an effort to call all the Senators
on the list below.  Your help and support is critical to the future of
privacy and security on the Internet.

Finally, please don't forget to sign the petition in support of Encryption
Policy Reform --  http://www.crypto.com/petition/.  More than 4000 Netizens
have already signed, including encryption experts Phil Zimmermann, Matt
Blaze, Phil Karn, and others.

________________________________________________________________________
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

It's crucial that you call the Commerce committee members below and
urge them to pass S.1726 out of committee without amendments.  (This is
also known as a "clean" bill.)  Any opportunity for amendments (even if
they are good) opens us up to the possibility of hostile amendments
that could restrict the use of encryption even further than today's
abysmal state.  It could even prohibit the use of encryption without
Clipper Chip-like key 'escrow' technology, which includes built-in
surveillance and monitoring functionality.

1. Call/Fax the members of the Senate Commerce committee and urge
   them to pass S.1726 out of committee "cleanly".  Do not use email,
   as it is not likely to be looked at in time to make a difference.

   Use the sample communique and directory listing below to make it a
   simple TWO MINUTE task.

2. Sign the petition to support strong encryption at
   http://www.crypto.com/petition/   !  Join other cyber-heroes as
   Phil Zimmermann, Matt Blaze, Bruce Schneier, Vince Cate, Phil Karn, and
   others who have also signed.

3. Over the next 7 days, it is crucial that you call all these members of
   the Senate Commerce Committee.

      P ST Name and Address           Phone           Fax
      = == ========================   ==============  ==============
      D SC Hollings, Ernest F.        1-202-224-6121  1-202-224-4293
      D MA Kerry, John F.             1-202-224-2742  1-202-224-8525
      D HI Inouye, Daniel K.          1-202-224-3934  1-202-224-6747
      D KY Ford, Wendell H.           1-202-224-4343  1-202-224-0046
      D WV Rockefeller, John D.       1-202-224-6472  1-202-224-7665
      D LA Breaux, John B.            1-202-224-4623  1-202-228-2577
      D NV Bryan, Richard H.          1-202-224-6244  1-202-224-1867
      D ND Dorgan, Byron L.           1-202-224-2551  1-202-224-1193
      D NE Exon, J. J.                1-202-224-4224  1-202-224-5213
      D OR Wyden, Ron*                1-202-224-5244  1-202-228-2717

      R SD Pressler, Larry*           1-202-224-5842  1-202-224-1259
      R MT Burns, Conrad R.(*sponsor) 1-202-224-2644  1-202-224-8594
      R AK Stevens, Ted               1-202-224-3004  1-202-224-2354
      R AZ McCain, John*              1-202-224-2235  1-202-228-2862
      R WA Gorton, Slade              1-202-224-3441  1-202-224-9393
      R MS Lott, Trent*               1-202-224-6253  1-202-224-2262
      R TX Hutchison, Kay Bailey      1-202-224-5922  1-202-224-0776
      R ME Snowe, Olympia             1-202-224-5344  1-202-224-1946
      R MO Ashcroft, John*            1-202-224-6154  1-202-228-0998
      R TN Frist, Bill                1-202-224-3344  1-202-228-1264
      R MI Abraham, Spencer           1-202-224-4822  1-202-224-8834

        * supporter or cosponsor.  The bill also enjoys broad bi-partisan
        support from members not on the committee including Senators Leahy
        (D-VT) and Murray (D-WA).

4. Here is a sample conversation:

   SAMPLE PHONE CALL
        You:<ring ring>
        Sen:Hello, Senator Mojo's office!

        You:

SAY     I'm calling to urge the Senator to pass S.1726, the  Burns, Leahy,
THIS->  Pressler bill at the upcoming Commerce Committee Markup.  The bill
        is critical to the future of privacy, security, and electronic
	commerce on the internet.

        Sen:Ok, thanks!<click>

   IF THEY SAY
        "The Senator has concerns about the bill",
   please answer,
        "Please try to work these issues out as it moves to the Senate floor,
         but passage out of committee will send an important signal to
         the Administration."

5. To help us measure the effectiveness of the campaign, WE NEED TO HEAR FROM
   YOU.  Please tell us who you called, and how they sounded.  We'll be
   passing this information to folks in D.C. who can help apply pressure
   where needed.

        $ Mail [email protected]
        Subject: I called so-and-so

        Hey, I called Sen. Mojo.  He sounded iffy, call in the
        reinforcements.
        ^D

6. Forward this to your friends and colleagues in appropriate forums
   until the date of expiration at the top.  Forward a copy of this to
   your Internet Service Provider as well, and ask them to put the following
   text in their message of the day (motd), or on their WWW page:

        ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT

        The U.S. Senate will be voting on a proposal to encourage
        better security on the Internet soon.  Your help is
        needed to call Congress.  See http://www.crypto.com/ for more
        details.

        ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT

________________________________________________________________________
BACKGROUND / WHAT TO EXPECT THIS WEEK

For the past 3 years, Cyber-Rights Activists, citizens, and industry
leaders have been working hard to reform US encryption policy.

Support has been building behind several legislative proposals this
year because they send a clear signal to the Administration about the
need for security and privacy in the Information Age.  The digital
revolution is currently being held hostage by the White House's Cold
War restrictions on privacy-enhancing encryption technology.

Now, with Congress less than a month away from adjournment, everyone
who supports encryption and privacy is working to see this bill leave
committee in order to send a clear message to the White House that they
are on the wrong side of the encryption issue.  Although this bill may
not become law this year, its passage out of committee will be a
landmark event that will clearly tell the White House that the
Congress, the public, and the computer industry care about security and
privacy, and need strong, reliable encryption technology in order to
make the Internet a viable platform for commerce, education, and
democracy.

Success for our side is not certain, and the next week is not without risks.
On September 12th (or sometime soon after), the Senate Commerce committee
is expected to hold a "markup", where the bill is examined, voted on, and
if there are enough votes, passed out of committee.  Two things could
happen:

        -the committee could pass the bill as written,
        -the committee could pass the bill with amendments.

Any amendments are not likely to be friendly, and in particular, quiet
sources have told privacy activists that the Clinton Administration has been
readying a legislative assault on your right to use encryption for several
weeks now.  A Clipper-like amendment could be attached to the bill if
our side does not have enough votes to block all amendments.

It is crucial that all netizens who consider privacy and security important
take a moment to call members of the Commerce Committee right now and
urge them to vote S.1726 out of committee without amendments.

________________________________________________________________________
DESCRIPTION OF S.1726, PRO-CODE BILL

Privacy-enhancing encryption technology is currently under heavy restrictions
kept in place by the White House.  Encryption that is currently allowed to
be exported is not sufficient to protect confidential information.  This
policy acquires an "Alice-in-Wonderland" quality when one realizes that
strong encryption products are available abroad both for sale and for free
download off the Internet.

The Pro-CODE Act resolves to:

1.  Allow for the *unrestricted* export of "mass-market" or "public-domain"
    encryption programs, including such products as Pretty Good Privacy and
    popular World Wide Web browsers.

2.  Requires the Secretary of Commerce to allow the less restricted export
    of other encryption technologies if products of similar strength are
    generally available outside the United States, roughly up to DES
    strength.

3.  Prohibits the federal government from imposing mandatory key-escrow
    encryption policies on the domestic market and limiting the authority
    of the Secretary of Commerce to set standards for encryption products.

________________________________________________________________________
CHRONOLOGY OF PRO-CRYPTO LEGISLATION

9/12/96 (scheduled)
Senate Commerce committee will hold markup of S.1726 and hopefully pass it
out of committee with no amendments.

7/25/96: Full Senate Commerce committee holds positive hearings on S.1726.
FBI Director Louis Freeh testifies along with many cyber-luminaries.
Hearings are cybercast Internet Cyber-Rights activists with HotWired
and WWW.Crypto.Com.  You can see the photos, read the testimony, and
listen to the audio transcript at http://www.crypto.com/events/072596/

6/26/96: Senate subcommittee holds positive hearings on S.1726.  Hearings are
cybercast Internet Cyber-Rights activists with HotWired and WWW.Crypto.Com.
You can see the photos, read the testimony, and listen to the audio
transcript at http://www.crypto.com/events/062696/

5/2/96: Bi-partisan group of Senators introduce Pro-CODE Act, which would
free public-domain encryption software (such as PGP) for export, free much
commercial encryption for export, and reduce the government's ability to
push Clipper proposals down the throats of an unwilling public.  Original
sponsors include: Senators Burns (R-MT), Dole (R-KS), Faircloth (R-NC),
Leahy (D-VT), Murray (D-WA), Pressler (R-SD), and Wyden (D-OR).

3/5/96: Sen. Leahy (D-VT) and Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA) announce encryption bills
(S.1587/H.R.3011) that significantly relax export restrictions on products
with encryption functionality in them, as well as free public domain software
such as PGP (Pretty Good Privacy).

________________________________________________________________________
FOR MORE INFORMATION / SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONS

There are many excellent resources online to get up to speed on crypto
including the following WWW sites:

http://www.crypto.com       http://www.privacy.org    http://www.eff.org
http://www.cdt.org          http://www.epic.org       http://www.vtw.org

Please visit them often.

The following organizations have signed onto this alert:

        American Civil Liberties Union
        Center for Democracy and Technology
        Electronic Frontier Foundation
        Electronic Privacy Information Center
        Voters Telecommunications Watch

________________________________________________________________________
End alert
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