ad info

 
CNN.com  technology > computing
    Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
TECHNOLOGY
TOP STORIES

Consumer group: Online privacy protections fall short

Guide to a wired Super Bowl

Debate opens on making e-commerce law consistent

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

More than 11,000 killed in India quake

Mideast negotiators want to continue talks after Israeli elections

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


Survey finds encryption rules loosening worldwide

IDG.net

April 4, 2000
Web posted at: 11:25 p.m. EDT (0325 GMT)

(IDG) -- Regulations that once stunted the distribution of strong encryption technology around the world are being rolled back at an encouraging pace, according to a new study by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a public research center in Washington, D.C.

The worldwide growth of electronic commerce and the attendant need for privacy and Internet security have convinced governments to step out of the way of encryption development, EPIC said in a report entitled "Cryptography and Liberty 2000, An International Survey of Encryption Policy."

  MESSAGE BOARD
 

"The rise of electronic commerce and the recognition of the need to protect privacy and increase the security of the Internet has resulted in the development of policies that favor the spread of strong encryption worldwide," the report said. "Governments attempting to develop e-commerce are recognizing that encryption is an essential tool for transactions and are reversing decades-old restrictions based on national security concerns."

MORE COMPUTING INTELLIGENCE
IDG.net   IDG.net home page
  Make your PC work harder with these tips
  Download free PC software fast
  TechInformer: The Thinking Internaut's Guide to the Tech Industry
  IDG.net's products pages
  Reviews & in-depth info at IDG.net
  E-BusinessWorld
  IDG.net's Windows software page
  Questions about computers? Let IDG.net's editors help you
  Subscribe to IDG.net's free daily newsletters
  Search IDG.net in 12 languages
  News Radio
  * Fusion audio primers
  * Computerworld Minute

One of the most important factors promoting the free flow of encryption technology was the Clinton Administration's loosening of export controls on mass market encryption software in January.

Before the new regulations, companies were forced to obtain a license from the U.S. government to export encryption products higher than 56 bits in key length.

"Export controls remain the most powerful obstacle to the development and free flow of encryption, but they are steadily being relaxed because of the Internet and demands for secure electronic commerce," the report said. "The decision by the United States to liberalize its own encryption export regulations in January 2000 has had the effect of weakening the position of those who favor strict controls on cryptography."

The study also cautioned that there are proposals pending to restrict free flow of encryption technology.

"We remain concerned about proposals pending in several countries that would give public agencies greater power to demand access to encrypted keys or plain text," David Sobel, EPIC general counsel, said Monday in a phone interview. The countries include the U.K., India, Belgium and the Netherlands.

However, several less developed countries maintain more widespread restrictions on encryption, including Belarus, Burma, China, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tunisia and Vietnam, the report said.

Many of these countries also restrict use of the Internet, although often the policy is not enforced, according to the report. For example, the Chinese government requires companies to disclose their security systems, but few companies are complying.

Such government policies will hold back economic and technological development, the report warned.

"The rapid growth of worldwide electronic commerce and the lack of international consensus on restrictions will further isolate these countries and make it difficult for them to continue these policies," the report said. "The wide availability of encryption on the Internet will make it impossible for them to enforce the laws in any meaningful way without imposing massive surveillance and censorship."




RELATED STORIES:
Report: E-pirates ransacked Stephen King e-novella
March 30, 2000
FBI backs action on security bill
March 30, 2000
Linux users to protest Copyright Act
March 28, 2000
Opinion: The trouble with online auctions and gambling
March 16, 2000
Keeping e-mail secure: No easy chore
March 1, 2000

RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
Professor can post crypto software on Web
(Computerworld)
Clock ticking on key encryption patent
(Network World Fusion)
Feds fight for cybersecurity bill
(Federal Computer Week)
NEC claims world's strongest encryption system
(IDG.net)
Civil liberties groups slam encryption export rules
(Computerworld)
Crypto export rules fall short of total decontrol
(IDG.net)
U.S. frees up encryption export policy
(IDG.net)
Cryptography rules uncloaked
(The Industry Standard)

RELATED SITES:
EPIC's report

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 Search   

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.