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I told you so




To my non-surprise, even the House is getting in on the "ban crypto"
bandwagon.

This just in (excerpted, to limit copyright infringement...read the full
article in your Yahoo or the like service)

Wednesday September 10 2:52 PM EDT

House Panel Votes To Tighten Encryption Controls

By Aaron Pressman

WASHINGTON - The House National Security Committee has approved a proposal
to tighten already strict U.S. export controls
on computer encoding technology, dealing a surprise setback to legislation
that would have relaxed the limits.

In a 45 to 1 vote, the committee adopted an amendment from Rep. Curt Weldon
(R-Pa.) and Rep. Ron Dellums (D-Calif.) that
would condition all exports of coding technology on the potential for harm
to national security.

Software companies, civil libertarians and Internet user groups were
stunned by the amendment, which they said gutted the bill
under consideration.

Coding technology, or encryption, uses mathematical formulas to scramble
information such as electronic mail or a credit card
number sent over the Internet to prevent hackers from stealing the
information.

Encryption has become an increasingly critical means of securing online
commerce and global communications.

Under current policy, U.S. companies can only export encryption products
offering a weak degree of protection, unless the
products also allow the government to decode covertly any coded message.

The Weldon-Dellums amendment requires the president to set "the maximum
level of encryption strength that could be exported
from the United States ... without harm to the national security of the
United States."

Products at or below the established level could be exported after a
one-time review specified by the secretary of commerce with
the concurrence of the secretary of defense.

The president would be required to review the established level annually to
determine if it should be changed without harming
national security.

Representatives of software companies were aghast after the vote. "This is
a disaster," said Rebecca Gould, vice president for
public policy at the Business Software Alliance.

"This was a bold step backward," said Alan Davidson, staff counsel at the
Center for Democracy and Technology, a cyberspace
civil liberties group. "It is worse than the status quo.....

[rest elided]

--Tim May

There's something wrong when I'm a felon under an increasing number of laws.
Only one response to the key grabbers is warranted: "Death to Tyrants!"
---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:----
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."