For Immediate Release
January 20, 1999
Sue Richard or Kristin Litterst
Americans for Computer Privacy Issues Statement on Encryption Policies
San Jose, CA--(January 20, 1999)--The following statement was issued today by Ed Gillespie, Executive Director of Americans for Computer Privacy (ACP) at a news conference at the 1999 RSA Data and Security Conference and Expo:
"Within the last twenty-four hours two announcements have been made which
reinforce ACP's position that U.S. encryption policy continues to be out
of step with the technological realities of today's global marketplace.
France, whose encryption policies have been among the most restrictive in the
world, is reported to be moving away from encryption controls. ACP is
encouraged to learn that the French government is beginning to recognize that
attempts to impose such controls are unworkable.
Secondly, yesterday's announcement that a computing team was able to
decipher a secret message encrypted with the United States government's
Data Encryption Standard (DES) algorithm in a record 22 hours and 15 minutes
points out the weakness in 56 bit DES. Using commonly available technology,
the team demonstrated that current policies favoring DES fail to recognize
Americans for Computer Privacy (ACP) is a broad-based coalition that brings together more than 100 companies and 40 associations representing financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications, high-tech and transportation, as well as law enforcement, civil-liberty, pro-family and taxpayer groups. ACP supports policies that advance the rights of American citizens to encode information without fear of government intrusion, and advocates the lifting of current export restrictions on U.S.-made encryption.