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[ZKS Press Release] 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of HumanRights a Reminder th at Privacy must be Preserved
--- begin forwarded text
From: Nicola Dourambeis <[email protected]>
To: ZKS Press Releases <[email protected]>
Subject: [ZKS Press Release] 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human
Rights a Reminder th
at Privacy must be Preserved
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 1998 18:13:51 -0500
Sender: [email protected]
Reply-To: [email protected]
Zero-Knowledge Systems Press Release, http://www.zks.net
50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights a Reminder that Privacy
must be Preserved.
Web site launched to allow citizens of the world to protest their loss of
December 9, 1998 (Montreal)--On the 50th anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), as well as in protest of the recent
changes to cryptography policies worldwide, Zero-Knowledge Systems is
spearheading a campaign to encourage governments to loosen newly imposed
cryptography restrictions. This campaign, seen on the web site
http://www.freecrypto.org, enables citizens of the world to express their
outrage and concern at the increasing loss of their privacy.
Article 12 of the UDHR states,
"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with
his privacy, family home, or correspondence...."
Yet, decades later, we are witnessing the unprecedented collection of
personal information and intrusions into the lives of many. Internet users
in particular, confront multiple privacy violations while online. Over 80%
of Internet users polled consider privacy be their primary concern.
The best defense for online privacy is to use strong cryptography, which
allows Internet users to preserve the privacy of their communications and
On December 3, 1998, the Internet community experienced one of the strongest
setbacks to their privacy in recent years. The 33 member countries of the
Wassenaar Arrangement agreed for the first time to impose export
restrictions on mass-market cryptography products.
Until December 3rd, the majority of the Wassenaar signatories did not impose
export controls over mass-market products that protect personal security and
privacy through cryptography. The United States Department of Commerce
Under-Secretary has taken credit for convincing all other Wassenaar
countries to impose these added restrictions over cryptography designed for
Barry Steinhardt, President of the Electronic Frontier Foundation believes
"The US government has strong-armed the rest of the industrialized world
into adopting a policy that will make us less secure and more vulnerable to
electronic terrorism. Our critical national and international
infrastructures need to be protected by strong encryption. Weak encryption
with back doors that will be exploited not just by governments, but by
information pirates, will leave us at greater risk."
"It is not too late to reverse course," continues Steinhardt. "Wassenaar
allows, but does not require, the other national governments to follow the
US' foolish lead."
"Cryptography is the key to preserving privacy for Internet users," explains
Austin Hill, President of Zero-Knowledge Systems. "By limiting the
accessibility of cryptography, you are limiting people's ability to protect
themselves. Now, more than ever, we have the ability to influence the
future of the electronic world; we must ensure that it has the same the
basic rights and protections that the UDHR promised us fifty years ago."
Hill continues, "We hope that Internet users will be proactive in protesting
this human rights infringement to their governments. The freecrypto.org web
site provides such a space, where users can learn about the issues and send
their government representatives a message expressing their dissatisfaction
with the tightening of cryptography controls."
The freecrypto.org web site provides a form that citizens can fill out and
have faxed or emailed to their respective government representatives. It
also provides information and articles on the recently imposed cryptography
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is one of the leading civil liberties
organizations devoted to ensuring that the Internet remains the world's
first truly global vehicle for free speech, and that the privacy and
security of all on-line communication is preserved. Founded in 1990 as a
nonprofit, public interest organization, EFF is based in San Francisco,
California and maintains an extensive archive of information on free
speech, privacy, and encryption policy at http://www.eff.org.
Zero-Knowledge Systems Inc., http://www.zks.net, is a Canadian based
software developer dedicated to providing cryptographic solutions for the
privacy and security of Internet users. They will be launching their first
product called Freedom(tm) in February 1999.
For more information, contact:
Nicola Dourambeis Alex Fowler,
Marketing Associate Director of Public Affairs
Zero-Knowledge Systems Inc. Electronic Frontier
Tel. (514) 286-2636 ext. 222 Tel. (415) 436-9333 ext. 103
Email. [email protected] Email. [email protected]
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Robert A. Hettinga <mailto: [email protected]>
Philodox Financial Technology Evangelism <http://www.philodox.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'