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Date: 1999-07-30

US-Krypto/export: Steuernachlass für Programme mit Hintertuer

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q/depesche 99.7.30/1

US-Krypto/export: Steuernachlass für Programme mit

Weil das Vorhaben, den Export starker Kryptographie
überhaupt zu verbieten, am Widerstand der Industrie
gescheitert ist, versucht es eine Gruppe von
Kongress/abgeordneten jetzt auf die ganz dämliche Art:
"sozial verantwortliche" Hersteller von
Verschlüsselungsprogrammen, deren Exportversionen mit
Hintertüren für US-Geheimdienste versehen sind, sollen 15
Prozent Steuernachlass erhalten.

Nicht beantwortet wird die Frage, ob irgendwer diese
Programme kaufen will.

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3:00 a.m. 30.Jul.99.PDT WASHINGTON -- If anyone in
Washington qualifies as an ardent foe of encryption, it's
congressman Porter Goss (R-Florida).

Two years ago, the chairman of the House Intelligence
committee tried to make it a crime to distribute privacy-
protecting software, such as PGP or recent versions of
Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer.

The plan failed, but Goss didn't give up. On Wednesday, he
and the panel's ranking Democrat introduced a bill to jump-
start the US market for encryption products with backdoors
that would support government surveillance.

The "Tax Relief for Responsible Encryption Act" gives
companies a 15 percent tax break on the costs of developing
government-snoopable encryption products.

Such products might support key recovery -- in which a copy
of the secret key needed to unlock scrambled data is placed
within reach of law enforcement -- or "other techniques."

"This legislation offers a way out of the stalemate between
those who view commerce and national security as an 'either-
or' proposition," Goss said in a statement.

Goss and 22 other House members also sent a letter to
President Clinton asking him to organize a "summit" of
industry executives and government officials to extract an
agreement on encryption regulation.

"It has become evident that your leadership on this issue is
vital to resolve the equally legitimate interests of law
enforcement, national security, privacy, and industry.... We
believe that without your personal involvement on this issue
now, our national security and public safety will suffer serious
and needless consequences," the legislators said.
"I think the government's role is to protect the individual
liberties of its citizens -- they should be giving companies
incentives to strengthen encryption," said Jennifer DePalma,
a graduate fellow at the Institute for Humane Studies at
George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.
The committee members have abandoned their hope for a
ban on unapproved encryption software, a source said. The
administration has pushed for a key recovery scheme,
whereby law enforcement would gain access to "plaintext," or
unencrypted, information.
"The congressman does not want to mandate recovery of
encryption products. He wants to encourage products that
have societal benefits," a spokesman for Goss said.

The committee last week said in a report that a bill to roll
back some export restrictions on encryption products would
harm children while protecting "criminals and international

"Child pornographers could distribute their filth unimpeded,"
the report said.
full story
relayed by Declan McCullagh
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