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In response to Declan's questions about crypto.com



This morning, a private note from me to Declan -- part of an ongoing
personal conversation between Declan, CDT, and his editors at Time -- was
forwarded to several public lists.

It was not, as some have assumed, an attempt to obscure the substantive
issues he raised.  Unfortunately, this whole thing explored before CDT had
a chance to respond to Declan's questions directly.

I hope that the points below will help to clarify the issues:

1. CDT, along with VTW, EFF, ATR and Wired, spent the last two weeks rallying
   Internet users to call the Committee in opposition to Oxley-Manton.  We
   generated thousands of phone calls from constituents to the Committee, which
   we believe was a decisive factor in the defeat of Oxley-Manton.

2. CDT rallied support among the computer and communications industries,
   including many companies that have not yet weighed in yet on this issue.
   Opposition from the baby bells, along with companies who have in the past
   been favorable to the Administration's position (like IBM and TIS), probably
   made the difference in defeating Oxley-Manton

3. CDT did NOT support, nor work on, the White-Markey proposal. We strongly
   oppose the increased criminal provisions (as well as the criminal provisions
   in the original SAFE bill).  We are also concerned about the role of the
NET
   Center and the proposed liability limitations for key recovery agents
(though
   we do not believe that any liability limitations were included in the final
   bill)

4. CDT continues to support efforts to relax encryption export controls.  We
   believe that export relief is critical to promoting privacy and security on
   the Internet, both at home and abroad. We are steadfastly opposed to ANY
   domestic requirements, mandatory or "voluntary", to incorporate key-escrow,
   key-recovery, or other "immediate access" requirements.

5. We expect that all efforts to enact encryption reform legislation are
stalled
   for the remainder of this year, and we do not support any effort to bring
   SAFE to the House floor.  All our efforts are focused on stopping Congress
   from passing any bill in the foreseeable future, unless and until it is
clear
   that domestic  law enforcement access requirements will NOT be a part of any
   legislation.

6. We are not working for a "compromise" with the FBI or any other
supporters of
   domestic encryption controls.

We also recognize the realities of politics.  No matter how much any of us
might wish it to be true, members of the Commerce Committee were not
willing to stand up and simply oppose everything.   It was not in the
cards.  White and Markey offered them a chance to defeat Oxley while
throwing a small bone to law enforcement.  We believe that passage of SAFE
with the White-Markey amendment, despite the problems with the criminal
provisions, is on balance, a step forward in the fight for encryption
policy reform.

That's why we have described the vote on cryto.com as a "vote in favor of
privacy".  I do not expect that this will convince all of our detractors,
but I do hope this clarifies the substance of Declan's criticism.

As always, I am happy to respond to queries about CDT's positions and
tactics, but I am not interested in engaging in public flame throwing.

Best,

Jonah


* Value Your Privacy? The Government Doesn't.  Say 'No' to Key Escrow! *
            Adopt Your Legislator -  http://www.crypto.com/adopt

--
Jonah Seiger, Communications Director              (v) +1.202.637.9800
Center for Democracy and Technology              pager +1.202.859.2151
<[email protected]>
                                                    PGP Key via finger
http://www.cdt.org
http://www.cdt.org/homes/jseiger