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FC: Letter from high-tech CEOs to Feinstein: back off!



Forwarded from Declan's list
>From: Declan McCullagh <[email protected]>
>Subject: FC: Letter from high-tech CEOs to Feinstein: back off!
>X-URL: Politech is at http://www.well.com/~declan/politech/
>
>===
>
> January 15, 1998
>>
>>
>> The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
>> United States Senate
>> Washington, DC  21510
>>
>>
>>  Dear Senator Feinstein,
>>
>> As Chief Executive Officers of leading California companies, we were
>> disappointed by your
>> November 5 comments at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing implying
>> that
>> California companies
>> are ambivalent regarding your position on encryption policy. We are
>> anything but
>> ambivalent about an
>> issue that will have a profound impact on our companies, our
>> customers, the
>> citizens of our country,
>> and our nation itself.
>>
>> We are in the midst of a transformation of our society into an era
>> where
>> information technology is
>> affecting and improving all of our lives and all of our businesses.
>> Without
>> effective security we put
>> at risk the confidentiality of our intellectual property, the public's
>> privacy
>> and the nation's critical
>> infrastructure.  And none of us will be able to take full advantage of
>> the
>> opportunities being presented
>> to us by the promise of global electronic commerce.
>>
>> And consider the burgeoning threat of personal identity theft.  As
>> emphasized in
>> the September 1997
>> issue of Consumer Reports, "the crime is one of the fastest-growing in
>> the
>> nation, according to the
>> California District Attorneys Association.   Identity thieves make off
>> with
>> billions of dollars a year...."
>> Strong encryption with no systemic vulnerability is the best
>> protection against
>> such damaging fraud.
>> Indeed, the credit-card industry, as you heard in testimony before the
>> Judiciary
>> Subcommittee on
>> Terrorism and Technology on September 3, soon will be offering
>> publicly a very
>> sophisticated system
>> for secure credit-card transactions over the Internet.  While the
>> system will be
>> able to reconstruct
>> transactions soon after the fact in response to legitimate
>> law-enforcement
>> requests, it does not employ
>> keys and would not comply with the kind of mandate contemplated by the
>> FBI.
>>
>> Mandatory key recovery policies, domestically and for export, will
>> make the
>> United States a second
>> class nation in the Information Age.
>>
>> We are very sympathetic to the concerns of law enforcement, and we
>> greatly
>> respect your continuing
>> support for them.  In fact, if we believed that the policy of
>> mandatory key
>> recovery could successfully
>> prevent criminals from having access to unbreakable encryption, we
>> might support
>> that position.
>> However, this policy cannot succeed, and in the process of failing it
>> will
>> sacrifice the leading role that
>> the State of California is playing in the international economy.  Even
>> more
>> important, perhaps, the
>> policy will create new law enforcement and national security
>> challenges because
>> U.S. corporations and
>> government officials will be forced to rely on unproven foreign
>> encryption
>> technology.  Maintaining
>> United States leadership in the development of state-of-the-art
>> cryptography is
>> in the best interests of
>> U.S. national security and law enforcement.  California companies and
>> industries
>> nationwide are
>> united in opposition to domestic and export controls that jeopardize
>> this
>> leadership.
>>
>> California companies need your support to be able to meet this new day
>> with a
>> strong and competitive
>> encryption industry.  We urge you to meet regularly with
>> representatives from
>> our companies, in
>> Washington D.C. and in California, to discuss this issue further.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>>
>>
>> Christopher Allen
>> President and CEO
>> Consensus Development Corporation
>>
>> Bill Archey
>> CEO
>> American Electronics Association
>>
>> Jim Barksdale
>> CEO
>> Netscape Communications, Inc.
>>
>> Carol Bartz
>> CEO
>> Autodesk, Inc.
>>
>> George Bell
>> CEO
>> Excite, Inc.
>>
>> Eric Benhamou
>> Chairman and CEO
>> 3Com Corporation
>>
>> Jim Bidzos
>> CEO
>> RSA Data Security, Inc.
>>
>> Philip Bowles
>> President
>> Bowles Farming Co., Inc.
>>
>> Steve Case
>> Chairman and CEO
>> America Online, Inc.
>>
>> Wilfred J. Corrigan
>> Chairman and CEO
>> LSI Logic
>>
>> Thomas B. Crowley
>> President & CEO
>> Crowley Maritime Corporation
>>
>> Philip Dunkelberger
>> CEO
>> PGP
>>
>> Judy Estrin
>> President & CEO
>> Precept Software, Inc.
>>
>> David W. Garrison
>> CEO
>> Netcom On-Line Communication Services, Inc.
>>
>> Karl Geng
>> President and CEO
>> Siemens Business Communication Systems, Inc.
>> Santa Clara, Calif.
>>
>> Charles M. Geschke
>> President
>> Adobe Systems, Inc.
>>
>> Brian L. Halla
>> President, Chairman & CEO
>> National Semiconductor, Inc.
>>
>> Gordon Mayer
>> CEO and Chairman
>> Geoworks Corporation
>>
>> Scott McNealy
>> Chairman and CEO
>> Sun Microsystems, Inc.
>>
>>
>>
>> Ed Mueller
>> Predident and CEO
>> Pacific Bell
>>
>> Kenneth J. Orton
>> President and CEO
>> Preview Travel, Inc.
>>
>> Willem P. Roelandts
>> CEO
>> Xilinx, Inc.
>>
>> Eric Schmidt
>> CEO
>> Novell, Inc.
>>
>> Tom Steding
>> CEO
>> Red Creek
>>
>> Deb Triant
>> CEO
>> Checkpoint
>>
>> David E. Weiss
>> Chairman, President and CEO
>> Storage Technology Corporation
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
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				Thanks! 
					Bill
Bill Stewart, [email protected]
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