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Re: Coalition letter opposing Oxley amendment -- from Apple toUSWest

At 07:52 -0700 9/23/97, Lucky Green wrote:
>Do I understand you correctly in that they are planing to double the
>dracoinian 5/10 year proposed penalties to 10/20 years?

That's correct. That White draft was circulated last week at a crypto
coalition meeting that dozens of businesses, lobbyists, and advocacy groups
attended. Sadly, I'm told that only the ACLU, Americans for Tax Reform, and
(to a similar extent though they were most concened with Bernstein) EFF
argued for a hardnosed "no compromise" position.

(EPIC would probably have taken the same position, but they were out of
town. Eagle Forum also says "no compromise," but they weren't at the

I spoke to an industry lobbyist yesterday about crypto-in-a-crime. "We
don't oppose what the ACLU is doing in trying to get it removed," the
lobbyist told me. But this isn't a make-or-break issue for you, is it? "No,
it isn't." In other words, they're more than happy to give it up as a
trading chit if they can get cash in on relaxed export controls.

>I don't know if I should be happy or sad about Declan's recent tone of
>writing. "Forget about working /with/ DC". I certainly never wanted to be
>right. There was a time Declan at least hoped that /some/ good might come
>out of DC. It doesn't seem he thinks this anymore.

I certainly believe there are some duties a federal government should
fulfill. On Net-issues, the federal government can do some good by either
reversing bad policies or adopting a stance of regulatory forbearance.

On copyright, the courts should decide the limits of ISP liability. On
crypto, too, the courts are the safest route. On Net-taxes, though, there's
a role for Congress to play in considering Cox-Wyden. On telecom, the best
way to get bandwidth to the home is by aggressive deregulation, which means
more fixes to the just-amended Telecom Act. On content, Congress should of
course do nothing except perhaps repeal some of the more censorhappy laws
around. Same with Net-gambling.

All in all, these issues require minimal action or no action. Especially on
encryption: this Congress will never take a pro-crypto approach. The law
enforcement lobbyists are simply too strong and too effective. No new laws
are better than bad new laws.