TUCoPS :: Privacy :: priv_305.txt

Privacy Digest 3.05 2/27/94

PRIVACY Forum Digest     Sunday, 27 February 1994     Volume 03 : Issue 05

          Moderated by Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com)
            Vortex Technology, Woodland Hills, CA, U.S.A.
                     ===== PRIVACY FORUM =====

   	  The PRIVACY Forum digest is supported in part by the 
	      ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy.

	The Clipper Saga continues...
	   (Lauren Weinstein; PRIVACY Forum Moderator)
	Re: Emotion v. Reason (Marc Rotenberg)
	Re: Emotion vs. Reason in the Clipper "Debate" (Jerry Leichter)
	Privacy Forum comments, v3i4 (Prabhakar Ragde)
	Clipper, Denning and PRIVACY Forum Digest V03 #04 (Lee S. Parks)
	CPSR Clipper Petition /rsp to Denning (Marc Rotenberg)
        Newsday article: The Clipper Chip Will Block Crime (Dorothy Denning)
        FWD>FYI: Rivest's response to Dorothy Denning (Dave Banisar)
	The Return of the "Digital Telephony Proposal"
	   (Lauren Weinstein; PRIVACY Forum Moderator)

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   Quote for the day:
	Chief:         "What part did you miss?"

	Maxwell Smart: "Everything after, 'Now listen carefully...'"
		-- Ed Platt and Don Adams
		   "Get Smart" (1965-1970)		


Date:    Tue, 22 Feb 94 20:22 PST
From:    lauren@vortex.com (Lauren Weinstein; PRIVACY Forum Moderator)
Subject: The Clipper Saga continues...

While reading the latest round of Clipper-related submissions, I was struck
by the observation that many persons seem more emotionally committed to
views over voice encryption systems (which, by and large, most people in the
population will probably never use) than they are over personal privacy
problems that affect virtually everyone (e.g. credit and check abuse and
fraud, problems with misuse of personal identification numbers, distribution
of sales and other personal data to third parties by commercial firms, and
so on).

Discussions of the latter sorts of events tend to elicit little response or
many of the, "there's nothing we can do about it" sorts of messages.  On the
other hand, Clipper seems to easily bring out the emotional "black and white"
responses, with little room for any sort of compromise.

As might be expected, there was considerable reaction to the previous

I received a note from EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) taking exception
to my inferring that their current e-mail based anti-Clipper effort is a
"petition drive."  After reviewing the announcement of their effort and my
editorial, I think some clarification is in order, since it was not my
intention to imply that both efforts were of identical form.

While CPSR is running what can be characterized pretty clearly as a
petition, the EFF effort involves people sending e-mail letters to them for
forwarding onward to Rep. Cantwell in support of HR 3627.  EFF has asked
that senders include the reasons for their support in their letters.  

Here are a couple of paragraphs from the original message announcing the
effort (from Jerry Berman, Executive Director of EFF; "jberman@eff.org").
Readers should of course get full information on the bill from
"cantwell-info@eff.org" and read it carefully before taking action one way
or another regarding the EFF effort.

    [Quoted material begins]

    Rep. Cantwell introduced H.R. 3627 in the House of Representatives on
    November 22, 1993.  H.R. 3627 would amend the Export Control Act to move
    authority over the export of nonmilitary software with encryption
    capabilities from the Secretary of State (where the intelligence
    community traditionally has stalled such exports) to the Secretary of
    Commerce. The bill would also invalidate the current license
    requirements for nonmilitary software containing encryption capablities,
    unless there is substantial evidence that the software will be diverted,
    modified or re-exported to a military or terroristic end-use.


    I urge you to write to Rep. Cantwell today at cantwell@eff.org. In the
    Subject header of your message, type "I support HR 3627." In the body of
    your message, express your reasons for supporting the bill. EFF will
    deliver printouts of all letters to Rep. Cantwell. With a strong showing
    of support from the Net community, Rep. Cantwell can tell her colleagues
    on Capitol Hill that encryption is not only an industry concern, but also
    a grassroots issue. *Again: remember to put "I support HR 3627" in your
    Subject header.*

    [Quoted material ends]

It is to EFF's credit that they did *not* include wording for a "suggested
letter" in their announcement.  All too often, letter writing campaigns turn
into form-letter writing campaigns when such wording is included.


At the risk of throwing gasoline on the fire, I'm going to address a couple
of points here that are mentioned later in the digest in individual

I'm accused below of saying (in my previous editorial) that there is "strong
bipartisan support" for Clipper.  That is *not* what I said.  I chose my
words quite carefully:

    ... is not necessarily applicable to arguing against a major
    cryptographic system with strong government backing and apparently not
    inconsiderable bipartisan support (at least outside of the "technical"

There is a difference between "not inconsiderable support" and "strong
support".  My point was that it's important to keep in mind that there are
more people supporting Clipper than one might imagine from reading on the
network.  I've received notes from people expressing their fear of making
"politically incorrect" statements on the net by saying something publicly
that might be viewed as "pro-Clipper".  I believe that anti-Clipper efforts
predicated on the assumption that there's no significant support for Clipper
might be weakening their own effectiveness.

Also, I was not suggesting that everyone who "signed" the CPSR petition was
doing so on a "knee-jerk" basis (or necessarily anyone, for that matter).
What I do believe is that e-mail petitions *can* be subject to such reactions,
and, by extension, it can be difficult for persons to gauge what such
numbers really mean as a result.

As several people have pointed out, CPSR has a wealth of detailed arguments
regarding Clipper available.  However, it would be interesting to know what
percentage of persons responding to the petition did so immediately after
reading it and based only on the material they read in the petition itself.

With a sufficiently large population and a well-worded document it might be
possible to get 10's of 1000's of persons to sign-on to most any topic.  I
suspect that e-mail petition drives will end up being viewed as the
electronic equivalent of form letter writing campaigns--which are nothing
new to commercial firms and government entities alike.  Such campaigns are
not, in *my opinion*, the best way to deal with complex topics, but of
course it is everyone's right to participate in them.

Here's a question that might be interesting to discuss.  For those who don't
like Clipper (which includes myself), what would you like to see happen to
Clipper?  Do you want to have it banned?  Do you wish to make key-escrow
systems illegal--even among entities who agree to use them or like them?
Should manufacturers be prohibited from incorporating such systems into
their products?

In the previous digest, there was a message by a person concerned about the
money spent to develop Clipper and what he felt were possible unfair
competition/export issues compared with other encryption systems.  Perhaps a
way to approach the overall situation is to try ensure that Clipper remains
but a single choice among many--and a voluntary system--by ensuring the
legal status and equal competition/export footings for competing
non-key-escrowed systems.  Of course, the new Digital Telephony Proposal
(see later in this digest) could complicate this situation *greatly* if it
becomes law.  

It's depressing how much lack of concern most persons have for privacy
issues (until something happens that hits home specifically for them--like a
credit rating mixup or fraud that affects them directly).  Given the current
public sentiment on crime issues, one might find that a majority of the
population might vote to ban all non-key-escrow systems, based on the belief
that they would be too likely to "help criminals."  That such a vote would
be an extremely misguided and onerous development is another matter.

To the proponents of Clipper: How about some compromise ideas from your
side, too?  Are you willing to support a structure that would ensure the
availability of non-key-escrow encryption systems on an equal footing with
Clipper and other key-escrow systems?  Are you willing to let Clipper rise
or fall on the basis of a fair marketplace?  Can we count on your support to
ensure that alternative systems will *not* be banned in the future?

So long as the arguments stay completely polarized with little room for
compromise on either side, I do not foresee an outcome satisfactory to

We now return you to your regularly scheduled digest.



Date:    Mon, 21 Feb 1994 13:58:01 EST    
From:    Marc Rotenberg <Marc_Rotenberg@washofc.cpsr.org>
Subject: Re:  Emotion v. Reason 

Good points are raised in the recent Privacy Forum editorial.  There should
be thoughtful debate on the Clipper proposal.  Just as the proponents of
Clipper speak too frequently of terrorists and pedaphiles, opponents must be
careful not to ring the Big Brother alarms too quickly.

CPSR strongly supports informed public debate on cryptography policy.  In
fact, that has been virtually our watchword since we first testified in
Congress five years ago on the implementation of the Computer Security Act
and warned that NSA's encroachment into standard setting for civilian
computer systems would have serious consequences for the public use of
cryptography and privacy protection for network users. We called for open
hearings then and have pushed the issue at every opportunity since.

Since that hearing, CPSR has also organized three cryptography policy
conferences in Washington, litigated more than half a dozen Freedom of
Information Act cases, appeared before numerous government panels to discuss
cryptography policy, and made a wide range of policy documents available to
the public through CPSR.ORG.

Our conferences have included representatives from the NSA, the FBI, the
Department of Justice, and the White House.  Documents obtained from CPSR
FOIA requests have been reported on in national papers, and copies of CPSR
cryptography resource books may be found in the offices of members of
Congress and the White House.

We have been uncompromising in our commitment to an open, fair, thoughtful
debate on cryptography policy.

The CPSR Clipper petition grows out of a five-year history of litigation,
testimony, reporting, analysis, and assessment involving cryptography issues.

On January 24, before the White House announcement on Clipper, CPSR
organized a letter to the President asking that the Clipper proposal be
withdrawn.  It was our hope, given the many concerns that had been raised
about Clipper, that if the country's leading experts on cryptography and
computer security expressed their concerns clearly and unequivocally the
White House might back off the proposal, or at least defer to the
recommendations of the Computer System Security and Privacy Advisory Board
at the Department of Commerce, which had earlier recommended more careful
review before going forward with theplan.

The letter CPSR drafted cited several of the well-known problems with
Clipper -- loss of privacy, NSA secrecy, doubts about effectiveness, and
impact on future crypto research.  The letter was then extensively revised
by the primary signatories, in many cases producing a stronger statement
than originally proposed.

That letter, as sent to the White House, was signed by Whit Diffie, Ron
Rivest, David Chaum, Martin Hellman, Peter Neumann, Ralph Merkle and
others.  Many other leading experts in cryptography and computer security
signed the letter once they learned of it.

After the White House announcement in early February of the plan to go
forward with Clipper and in response to requests we received from many
people who wanted to add their names to the original letter, we decided to
circulate the petition on the network and encourage signatures.

We did not expect the response we received. The Marketplace campaign
generated 30,000 email messages over a six month period.  It was highly
publicized and well focused.  The current debate about the Clipper proposal
has been clouded by other related but less signficant issues.

Nonetheless, the total number of people who signed the CPSR Clipper petition
recently topped 25,000 and the number continues to grow.  

While I am sympathetic to Lauren's concerns about the possible misuse of the
network to rally support for a particular political viewpoint, I think he
would be a hard-pressed to find a similar petition that reflects more
careful research, that is as strongly supported by those most knowledgeable
about the problem or is more timely.

I also disagree with Lauren's assessment of the politics of Clipper.  There
is not strong bi-partisan support -- there has never been a vote in Congress
on Clipper -- nor is the government firmly behind the proposal.  Documents
obtained by CPSR through the FOIA make clear that virtually every agency
other than the FBI or the NSA asked to assess Clipper and Clipper-like
proposals have been deeply skeptical.

Documents obtained by CPSR directly from the Department of Justice raise
fundamental questions about the premise underlying Clipper.  In fact, it
would be difficult to find such a sweeping proposal with less supporting
evidence or public support than Clipper.

Clipper has gone this far precisely because the full range of interested
parties -- particularly future users of the NII -- have not said clearly
enough and forcefully enough that they oppose the proposal.

It is almost that simple.

The political calculation inside the White House is that they can "give"
this issue to the NSA, and ride out the mild storm of criticism because not
enough people understand the Clipper issue and not enough people will
actually speak out publicly.

That is why we need people to sign the petition.  To send a clear,
unambigous message to the White House that Clipper is a mistake and should
be withdrawn.

That is why we ask you to support our efforts.

Marc Rotenberg, director
CPSR Washington office


Date: Mon, 21 Feb 94 08:20:22 EDT
From: Jerry Leichter <leichter@lrw.com>
Subject: re: Emotion vs. Reason in the Clipper "Debate"

Bravo!  I've watched, with much distress, the extremely low level of debate on
this whole issue.  You comment that it's heading straight for the sewers; as
far as I can tell, it *started* somewhere near there.  (The "debate", such as
it is, pre-dates the Clipper proposal - the whole business started with the
original FBI wiretap bill.)

I've made one or two contributions here and there that were not seen as "po-
litically correct", but I must say I've been reluctant to get involved.  The
level of vituperation in the attacks against Dorothy Denning everywhere, and
against David Sternlight in the cryptography newsgroup - both at complete odds
with the reasoned and often quite reasonable things they have to say - are
hardly encouraging.  A threat of a lawsuit as a response to one message I sent
to CuD is hardly more so.

My personal feeling is that the end result of all the ranting and raving will
be to render any reasonable opposition to a number of government actions on
cryptography and privacy ineffective - it's *so* easy to tar someone with a
"nut case radical" label.  People writing on the Internet seem to hold a couple
of contradictory beliefs:  (a)  If everyone here agrees with me, *everyone*
agrees with me;   (b) What I say here is "among friends", and won't be seen by
"the bad guys" - i.e., the non-agreeing members of Congress and so on;  (c) the
Net can influence the real world.  In fact, (a) has never had much of any
connection with reality, (b) was true but is rapidly becoming false, and (c)
was false but is rapidly becoming true.  And look how we of the net are presen-
ting ourselves in our first major political contest.



Date: Thu, 24 Feb 1994 09:36:56 -0500
From: Prabhakar Ragde <plragde@plg.uwaterloo.ca>
Subject: Privacy Forum comments, v3i4 

Dear Lauren,

I greatly appreciated your recent remarks in the recent Privacy Forum
digest on maintaining a rational tone of debate while using e-mail and
on the dangers of electronic petitions. Here at the University of
Waterloo, we are embroiled in a controversy over administration
removal of some alt.sex newsgroups, and I have been cautioning against
reactions that are similar to the ones that Clipper seems to be
generating on a national level. Your comments apply in a much wider
context, and I hope that you have persuaded some readers of the
benefits of careful deliberation on complex issues. We can all use
periodic reminders that a keyboard should not be used immediately just
because it is within reach. --PR

Prabhakar Ragde                             plragde@maytag.waterloo.edu
Associate Professor, Computer Science            DC 2119, (519)888-4660
University of Waterloo                 Waterloo, Ontario CANADA N2L 3G1


Date:    Tue, 22 Feb 1994 15:14:44 -0500
From:    "Lee S. Parks" <lsp@panix.com>
Subject: Clipper, Denning and PRIVACY Forum Digest V03 #04

	I am afraid Ms. Denning that I do not understand or appreciate
your point to view on Clipper.  I do not have, unfortunately the time
to debate your letter. point by point; however, I believe your
introductory paragraph establishes your entire point of view.  To wit:

   CPSR has announced a petition campaign to oppose the Clipper
   initiative. I would like to caution people about signing the petition.
   The issues are extremely complex and difficult. The Clipper initiative
   is the result of considerable deliberation by many intelligent people
   who appreciate and understand the concerns that have been expressed and
   who worked hard to accommodate the conflicting interests.  The
   decisions that have been made were not made lightly.

I do not believe in the "trust me" approach, which is all to close to
the "trust me" defense.  I don't think anyone should be estopped from
expressing an opinion or taking a position on an issue of vital
importance because the "issues are extremely complex" or people "have
worked hard to accomodate the conflicting interests."  First of all,
the true issues aren't that complicated, at least in a technological
sense or even in a political-philosophical sense.  Even if they were,
that doesn't mean that one shouldn't participate or be allowed to
participate in the debate.  For example, health care reform is
probably a more complex issue and I doubt you suggesting that one
should trust the "experts".  Second, no matter how carefully
considered the decisions by the "experts", that doesn't mean that
the're right.

The fundamental issue in Clipper is whether the government has a basic
right to eavesdrop on American citizens.  It is short sighted to
assume (and, in a deeper sense, believe) that just because the
government has had the technological ability to listen in on phone
calls, it has an unfettered right, even within the existing legal
constraints, to do so.  Since the means now exist to fairly easily
prevent unwanted eavesdropping, there is no legal reason why we can
not avail ourselves of the technology.  The attempt by the U.S.
government to promote Clipper as a technology is to try to achieve
economically through the back door and through indirect legal
mechanisms (ITAR) which have never been tested in court, what the
government has no legal right to compel.  Moreover, the government is
doing this with the our tax dollars.

On the subject of "experts", experts once said that airplanes were
impossible, disease was incurable and our resources were going to be
exhausted in 1980.  Experts also said President Nixon could use the
IRS to investigate its enemies, there was no serious downwind fallout
from atomspheric nuclear tests in Nevada, and the New York Times
couldn't publish the pentagon papers.  Experts can be wrong, can
have their own agenda and, every once and a while, can be manipulated
by other experts.  I'm not paranoid, but that doesn't mean I should be
gullible either when the issue involved could effect so many sensitive
government operations.

	-lee (lsp@athena.mit.edu)


Date:    Wed, 23 Feb 1994 10:44:40 EST    
From:    Marc Rotenberg <Marc_Rotenberg@washofc.cpsr.org>
Subject: CPSR Clipper Petition /rsp to Denning

Dorothy Denning has raised important questions about the Clipper proposal.
As she says "the issues are extremely complex and difficult."  Below I've
tried to answer the points she has raised.  

Please read her comments and my response.  Speak with others interested in
the Clipper proposal.  If on balance, after reviewing the arguments, you
decide Clipper is a mistake then you should express your opposition by
sending a message to:


with the words

     "I oppose Clipper"

in the subject header.  If you have already signed the petition, ask a friend
or colleague to sign.

Your help is needed.

Marc Rotenberg, director, CPSR Washington office

>>  The Clipper proposal, developed in secret by the   
>>  National Security Agency, is a technical standard 
>>  that will make it easier for government agents to 
>>  wiretap the emerging data highway.
>  The standard (FIPS 185) is not a standard for the 
>  Internet or any other high speed computer network.  It 
>  is for the telephone system.  

The letter to the President makes clear that we are concerned about "Clipper
and associated standards" which include the Capstone EES configuration for
data transmission.

It is clearly the intent of the EES proposal to cover both voice and data
>  The standard will not make it any easier to tap phones, 
>  let alone computer networks.  All it will do is make it 
>  technically possible to decrypt communications that are 
>  encrypted with the standard, assuming the communications 
>  are not superencrypted with something else.  

This is a little bit like saying that leaving a master key for every house on
your block with the police will not make it easier for the police to open
locked doors.

We may disagree about whether this is a good idea, but let's be clear about
the intent of the proposal.
>  The purpose of the standard is to provide a very strong 
>  encryption algorithm - something much stronger than DES 
>  - and to do so in a way that does not thwart law 
>  enforcement and national security objectives.  Keys are 
>  escrowed so that if someone uses this technology, they 
>  cannot use it against national interests.

The NSA is responsible for foreign signal interception.  It has no legal
authority to conduct wire surveillance.  What are the NSA's "national
security" interests in domestic wire surveillance?
>>  Industry groups, professional associations and 
>>  civil liberties organizations have expressed almost 
>>  unanimous opposition to the plan since it was first 
>>  proposed in April 1993.
>>  The private sector and the public have expressed 
>>  nearly unanimous opposition to Clipper.  
>  As near as I know, neither CPSR nor any other group has 
>  conducted any systematic poll of industry, professional 
>  societies, or the public.  

To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a proposed technical
standard that generated more opposition.  Firms across the telecommunications
and computer industry oppose Clipper.  Computer security people and
cryptographers oppose Clipper.  Privacy experts oppose Clipper.

>>  The Administration ignored the overwhelming 
>>  opposition of the general public. When the Commerce 
>>  Department solicited public comments on the 
>>  proposal last fall, hundreds of people opposed the 
>  plan while only a few expressed support.
>  Hundreds of people is hardly overwhelming in a 
>  population of 250 million, especially when most of the 
>  letters were the same and came in through the net 
>  following a sample letter that was sent out. 

I would encourage Dorothy, or anyone else, to take a poll of any
representative user group -- PRIVACY FORUM readers perhaps -- if there
is any doubt about how the public feels about the proposal.
>>  The technical standard is subject to misuse and 
>>  compromise. It would provide government agents with 
>>  copies of the keys that protect electronic 
>>  communications. "It is a nightmare for computer      
>>  security."
>  I have been one of the reviewers of the standard.  We 
>  have completed our review of the encryption algorithm, 
>  SKIPJACK, and concluded it was very strong.  While we 
>  have not completed our review of the key escrow system, 
>  from what I have seen so far, I anticipate that it will 
>  provide an extremely high level of security for the 
>  escrowed keys.

Dorothy endorsed the proposal before she joined the "review" team.  The group
that she refers to, a White House task force, has an interesting history.
The majority of cryptographers asked to participate declined.
>>  The underlying technology was developed in secret 
>>  by the NSA, an intelligence agency responsible for 
>>  electronic eavesdropping, not privacy protection. 
>>  Congressional investigations in the 1970s disclosed 
>>  widespread NSA abuses, including the illegal 
>>  interception of millions of cables sent by American 
>>  citizens.
>  NSA is also responsible for the development of 
>  cryptographic codes to protect the nation's most 
>  sensitive classified information.  They have an 
>  excellent track record in conducting this mission.  

Senator Frank Church, who conducted the most extensive hearings ever held on
the National Security Agency, said that the NSA's intelligence gathering
capabilities were important for the security of the United States.  He also
said that the massive eavesdropping capability created "A tremendous
potential for abuse." If ever turned against the communications system of
the United States:

  no American would have any privacy left . . . there
  would be no place to hide.

  We must see to it that this agency and all agencies
  that possess this technology operate within the law and
  under proper supervision, so that we never cross
  over that abyss.  That is an abyss from which there
  is no return. " (NBC Meet the Press, 1975)

>>  Computer security experts question the integrity of 
>> the technology. Clipper was developed in secret and 
>>  its specifications are classified.
>  The 5 of us who reviewed the algorithm unanimously 
>  agreed that it was very strong.  We will publish a final 
>  report when we complete or full evaluation. Nothing can 
>  be concluded from a statement questioning the technology 
>  by someone who has not seen it regardless of whether 
>  that person is an expert in security.

The original CPSR letter to the President, asking for the withdrawal of
Clipper, was signed by Hellman, Rivest, Diffie, Merkle, and others.  Many
more experts are adding their names daily to the CPSR petition.
>>  NSA overstepped its legal authority in developing 
>>  the standard.  A 1987 law explicitly limits the 
>>  intelligence agency's power to set standards for 
>>  the nation's communications network.
>  The 1987 Computer Security Act states that NIST "shall 
>  draw on the technical advice and assistance (including 
>  work products) of the National Security Agency."

The original replacement for DES, proposed by the Department of Commerce in
1989, would have had these characteristics:

-- public, unclassified
-- implementable in both hardware or software
-- usable by federal Agencies and U.S. based multi-national corporation
-- a level of security sufficient for the protection of unclassified, 
   sensitive information and commercial propriety and/or valuable

The final proposal, developed with the "technical assistance" of the NSA, has
these characteristics.

-- The Clipper algorithm Skipjack is classified
-- Public access to the reasons underlying the proposal is restricted
-- Skipjack can be implemented only in tamper-proof hardware 
-- It will not be used by multi-national corporations
-- The security of the configuration remains unproven.

The Computer Security Act was passed precisely because the NSA tried
previously to grab civilian computer security turf.  The law was specifically
intended to control the type of abuse that results from secret
standard-setting arrangements.

If there any doubt among PRIVACY FORUM readers about the illegal activities
of the NSA in the development of the EES, please consult the minutes of the
NSA/NIST Technical Working Group (TWG) that produced the standard.  The
minutes should be available from the National Security Agency Public
Information Office.  That phone number is 301/688-6524.

>>  There is no evidence to support law enforcement's 
>>  claims that new technologies are hampering criminal 
>>  investigations. CPSR recently forced the release of 
>>  FBI documents that show no such problems.
>  CPSR obtained some documents from a few FBI field 
>  offices.  Those offices reported no problems.  CPSR did 
>  not get reports from all field offices and did not get 
>  reports from local law enforcement agencies.  I can tell 
>  you that it is a fact that new communications 
>  technologies, including encryption, have hampered 
>  criminal investigations.  

The statement is illogical.  There is still no evidence to support the FBI's

The FBI made certain claims that cryptography was impeding criminal
investigation conducted by wiretap.  CPSR investigated the FBI's claims by
filing a Freedom of Information Act suit to obtain the relevant documents.
The documents provided to us by the Department of Justice revealed that none
of the FBI field officers had encountered any obstacles.  The Department of
Justice has just informed us that they provided to us all relevant documents
concerning the Clipper proposal.

There is one reported case where cryptography made it difficult for law
enforcement to obtain evidence. That case concerned reading the contents of a
file on a hard disk after it was seized.

If this is the problem that the Clipper proposal is intended to solve, then
the key escrow scheme must be extended to every single encrypted file -- not
just encrypted communications -- everywhere in the world.

Every encrypted file. Everywhere.

>>  If the plan goes forward, commercial firms that 
>>  hope to develop new products will face extensive 
>>  government obstacles. Cryptographers who wish to 
>>  develop new privacy enhancing technologies will be 
>>  discouraged. 
>  The standard is voluntary -- even for the government.

An FBI legislative proposal now under consideration at the White House would
mandate a Clipper-like scheme.  That proposal is backed by fines up to
$10,000 per day and jail time.

That's not voluntary.
>>  Mr. Rotenberg said "We want the public to 
>>  understand the full implications of this plan.  
>>  Today it is only a few experts and  industry groups 
>>  that understand the proposal. 
>  I support this objective.  Unfortunately, it is not 
>  possible for most of us to be fully informed of the 
>  national security implications of uncontrolled 
>  encryption.  For very legitimate reasons, these cannot 
>  be fully discussed and debated in a public forum.  

This assertion has never been supported by evidence.  It has been used simply
to stifle criticism.

>  The Feb. 4 decision was made 
>  following an inter-agency policy review, headed by the 
>  National Security Council, that examined these issues 
>  using considerable input from industry, CPSR, EFF, and 
>  individuals as well as from law enforcement and 
>  intell

CPSR did not participate in the inter-agency policy review.  Our position
from the very beginning is that these decisions must be made openly.

>  In the absence of understanding 
>  the national security issues, I believe we need to 
>  exercise some caution in believing that we can 
>  understand the full implications of encryption on 
>  society.

This premise, if accepted, would mean that people in the United States would
have no right to express political views when the government claimed
"national security." Certainly, there are matters of national security that
must be protected, but when an agency with expertise in wire surveillance
develops a secret standard for eavesdropping and tells those who raise
questions that there are matters of national security that they would not
understand, there is good reason for concern.
If you believe that Clipper is a mistake, please express your views by
sending email with the words "I oppose Clipper" in the subject header to


Date:    Wed, 23 Feb 1994 08:28:05 -0500 (EST)
From:    denning@cs.georgetown.edu (Dorothy Denning)
Subject: Newsday article: The Clipper Chip Will Block Crime

|           Newsday, Tuesday, February 22, 1994, Viewpoints            |

    [ "Viewpoints" is the "Op-Ed" section of Newsday -- MODERATOR ]

                    The Clipper Chip Will Block Crime
                          By Dorothy E. Denning

   Hidden among the discussions of the information highway is a fierce
debate, with huge implications for everyone.  It centers on a tiny
computer chip called the Clipper, which uses sophisticated coding to
scramble electronic communications transmitted through the phone

   The Clinton administration has adopted the chip, which would allow
law enforcement agencies with court warrants to read the Clipper codes
and eavesdrop on terrorists and criminals.  But opponents say that, if
this happens, the privacy of law-abiding individuals will be a risk.
They want people to be able to use their own scramblers, which the
government would not be able to decode.

   If the opponents get their way, however, all communications on the
information highway would be immune from lawful interception.  In a
world threatened by international organized crime, terrorism, and rogue
governments, this would be folly.  In testimony before Congress, Donald
Delaney, senior investigator with the New York State Police, warned
that if we adopted an encoding standard that did not permit lawful
intercepts, we would have havoc in the United States.

   Moreover, the Clipper coding offers safeguards against casual
government intrusion.  It requires that one of the two components of
a key embedded in the chip be kept with the Treasury Department and the
other component with the Commerce Department's National Institute of
Standards and Technology.  Any law enforcement official wanting to
wiretap would need to obtain not only a warrant but the separate
components from the two agencies.  This, plus the superstrong code and
key system would make it virtually impossible for anyone, even corrupt
government officials, to spy illegally.

   But would terrorists use Clipper?  The Justice Department has
ordered $8 million worth of Clipper scramblers in the hope that they
will become so widespread and convenient that everyone will use them.
Opponents say that terrorists will not be so foolish as to use
encryption to which the government holds the key but will scramble
their calls with their own code systems.  But then who would have
thought that the World Trade Center bombers would have been stupid
enough to return a truck that they had rented?

   Court-authorized interception of communications has been essential
for preventing and solving many serious and often violent crimes,
including terrorism, organized crime, drugs, kidnaping, and political
corruption.  The FBI alone has had many spectacular successes that
depended on wiretaps.  In a Chicago case code-named RUKBOM, they
prevented the El Rukn street gang, which was acting on behalf of the
Libyan government, from shooting down a commercial airliner using a
stolen military weapons system.

   To protect against abuse of electronic surveillance, federal
statutes impose stringent requirements on the approval and execution
of wiretaps.  Wiretaps are used judiciously (only 846 installed
wiretaps in 1992) and are targeted at major criminals.

   Now, the thought of the FBI wiretapping my communications appeals to
me about as much as its searching my home and seizing my papers.
But the Constitution does not give us absolute privacy from
court-ordered searches and seizures, and for good reason.  Lawlessness
would prevail.

   Encoding technologies, which offer privacy, are on a collision
course with a major crime-fighting tool: wiretapping.  Now the
Clipper chip shows that strong encoding can be made available in a way
that protects private communications but does not harm society if it
gets into the wrong hands.  Clipper is a good idea, and it needs
support from people who recognize the need for both privacy and
effective law enforcement on the information highway.

| Copyright Newsday.  All rights reserved.  This article can be freely |
| distributed on the net provided this note is kept intact, but it may |
| not be sold or used for profit without permission of Newsday.        |


Date:    Fri, 25 Feb 1994 22:43:48 EST    
From:    Dave Banisar <banisar@washofc.cpsr.org>
Subject: FWD>FYI: Rivest's response to Dorothy Denning

Forwarded with permission...

------- Forwarded Message

From: rivest@theory.lcs.mit.edu (Ron Rivest)
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 94 16:24:20 EST
To: denning@cs.cosc.georgetown.edu
Cc: efbrick@cs.sandia.gov, hellman@isl.stanford.edu, Rivest@mc.lcs.mit.edu,
        silvio@theory.lcs.mit.edu, smb@research.att.com, mab@research.att.com,
        jim@rsa.com, diffie@eng.sun.com
Subject: Newsday Editorial

Hi Dorothy --

Thanks for sending me a copy of your editorial.  But I find the
reasoning you present misleading and unpersuasive.

First, you argue that the clipper chip will be a useful law
enforcement tool.  Given the small number of currently authorized
wiretaps per year (under 1000) and the ease of using alternative
encryption technology or superencryption, it seems plausible to me
that law enforcement could expect at most ten "successful" clipper
wiretaps per year.  This is a pretty marginal basis for claiming that
clipper will "block crime".

Second, you seem to believe that anything that will "block crime" must
therefore be a "good thing" and should therefore be adopted.  This is
not true, even if it is not subject to government abuse.  For example,
a system that could turn any telephone (even when on-hook) into an
authorized listening microphone might help law enforcement, but would
be unacceptable to almost all Americans.  As another example, tatooing
a person's social security number on his or her buttocks might help
law enforcement, but would also be objectionable.  Or, you could
require all citizens to wear a bracelet that could be remotely queried
(electronically, and only when authorized) to return the location of
that citizen.  There are all kinds of wonderfully stupid things one
could do with modern technology that could "help" law enforcement.
But merely being of assistance to law enforcement doesn't make a
proposal a good thing; many such ideas are objectionable and
unacceptable because of the unreasonably large cost/benefit ratio 
(real or psychological cost). The clipper proposal, in
my opinion, is of exactly this nature.

Third, you seem unnecessarily polly-annish about our government and the
potential for abuse.  The clipper proposal places all trust for its
management within the executive branch; a corrupt president could
direct that it be used for inappropriate purposes.  The unspecified
nature of many of the associated procedures leaves much room to
speculate that there are "holes" that could be exploited by government
officials to abuse the rights of American citizens.  Even if the
proposal were modified to split the trust among the various branches
of government, one might still reasonably worry about possible abuse.
Merely because you've met the current set of representatives of
various agencies, and feel you can trust them, doesn't mean that such
trust can be warranted in their successors.  One should build in
institutional checks and balances that overcome occasional moral
lapses in one or more office holders.

Fourth, your discussion of "searching your home and seizing your
papers" is misleading.  You seem to imply that because law enforcement
can be issued a warrant to search your home, that we should adopt
clipper.  Yet this analogy only makes sense if individuals were
required to deposit copies of their front door keys with the
government.  I can build any kind of house I wish (out of steel, for
example), and put any kind of locks on it, and wire up any kind of
intrusion detectors on it, etc.  The government, armed with a search
warrant, is not guaranteed an "easy entry" into my home at all.  The
appropriate analogical conclusion is that individuals should be able
to use any kind of encryption they want, and the government should be
allowed (when authorized, of course) to try and break their

Finally, you argue (elsewhere, not in this editorial) that the decision
rests in part on "classified" information.  Such an argument only makes
sense if there is a specific law-enforcement situation that makes such
classified information timely and relevant.  (E.g., if there was a
current investigation as to whether the Department of the Treasury had
been infiltrated by organized crime.)  The use of "classified information"
is otherwise generally inappropriate in discussing communications policy
that will last over decades.  

This hardly covers all of the relevant issues, but it covers the
points that came immediately to mind in reading your editorial...


P.S. Feel free to pass along, quote, or otherwise re-distribute this...


Date:    Sun, 27 Feb 94 03:09 PST
From:    lauren@vortex.com (Lauren Weinstein; PRIVACY Forum Moderator)
Subject: The Return of the "Digital Telephony Proposal"

Greetings.  As if the current situation with Clipper weren't complex enough,
the Digital Telephony Proposal, which you may recall from intense
discussions last year, has returned again to enter the fray and further
complicate matters.  The new draft is included below, and is also available
in the PRIVACY Forum archive.  Students of this topic will note that the new
bill is quite similar in concept to the older ones, so previous
discussions regarding this topic in this digest would still seem relevant.
In my opinion, it is unfortunate that these concepts, which were so roundly
criticized from a wide array of quarters previously, are still being
seriously considered at this level.

In any case, non-inflammatory submissions for the Forum regarding this
topic, both pro and con, are of course invited.



103rd Congress          Draft          2/9/94
2nd Session

                         S. _____
                        [H.R. _____]

                        IN THE SENATE

   M. __________ introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on __________

                        A BILL

   To ensure continued law enforcement electronic surveillance access to
the content of wire and electronic communications and call setup
information when authorized by law, to improve communications privacy
protection, and for other purposes.

   By it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,


      This Act may be cited as the "Digital Telephony and Communications
Privacy Improvement Act of 1994."

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.  The purpose of this Act is to clarify and define the
responsibilities of common carriers, providers of common carrier support
services, and telecommunications equipment manufacturers to provide the
assistance required to ensure that government agencies can implement court
orders and lawful authorizations to intercept the content of wire and
electronic communications and acquire call setup information under
chapters 119 and 206 of title 18 and chapter 36 of title 50. Otherwise,
except for the provisions in section 4, nothing in this Act is intended to
alter any provision contained in the Federal electronic surveillance, pen
register, or trap and trace statutes, or those of any state or other
jurisdiction. In particular, nothing herein is intended to enlarge or
reduce the government's authority to lawfully intercept the content of
communications or install or use pen register or trap and trace devices,
or to increase or decrease any criminal penalties for unlawfully
intercepting the content of communications or installing or using pen
register or trap and trace devices, or to alter the provisions regarding
service provider assistance, payment for assistance, causes of action,
civil liability, or good faith defenses.
      The Act is further intended to improve communications privacy
protection for cordless telephones, certain radio-based data
communications and networks, communications transmitted using certain
privacy-enhancing modulation techniques, and to clarify the lawfulness of
quality control and service provision monitoring of electronic


      (a) _New section_.  Chapter 109 of title 18, United States Code, is
amended by adding the following new section:

"Sec. 2237. Common carrier assistance to government agencies.
      "(a) Assistance requirements. Common carriers shall be required to
provide forthwith, pursuant to court order or lawful authorization, the
following capabilities and capacities in order to permit the government to
conduct electronic surveillance and pen register and trap and trace
investigations effectively:
      "(1) The ability to execute expeditiously and simultaneously within
a common carrier's system all court orders and lawful authorizations for
the interception of wire and electronic communications and the acquisition
of call setup information related to the facilities or services of
subscribers of such common carrier;
      "(2) the ability to intercept the content of communications and
acquire call setup information concurrent with the transmission of the
communication to or from the subscriber's facility or service that is the
subject of the court order or lawful authorization, to the exclusion of
any wire or electronic communication or call setup information of any
other subscriber, notwithstanding the mobile nature of the facility or
service that is the subject of the court order or lawful authorization or
the use by the subscriber who is the subject of the court order or lawful
authorization of any features offered by the common carrier;
      "(3) the ability to intercept the content of communications and
acquire call setup information unobtrusively and with a minimum of
interference with any subscriber's telecommunications service; and
      "(4) the ability to receive, in a generally available format, the
intercepted content of communications and acquired call setup information
at a location identified by the government distant from the facility that
is the subject of the interception, from the interception access point,
and from the premises of the common carrier (except where emergency or
exigent circumstances such as those described in 18 U.S.C. 2518(7),
2518(11)(b), or 3125, or in 50 U.S.C. 1805(e), necessitate monitoring at
the common carrier's premises).
      "(b) Systems security. The government shall notify a common carrier
of any interception of wire or electronic communications or any
acquisition of call setup information that is to be effected within the
premises of such common carrier pursuant to court order or lawful
authorization. After notification, such common carrier shall designate an
individual or individuals to activate such interception or acquisition
forthwith. Such individual(s) shall be available at all times to activate
such interceptions or acquisitions. Such interceptions or acquisitions
effected within the premises of a common carrier may be activated only by
the affirmative intervention of such individual(s) designated by such
common carrier.
      "(c) Compliance date. To the extent that common carriers providing
service within the United States currently cannot fulfil the requirements
set forth in subsection (a) of this section, they shall fulfil such
requirements within three years from the date of enactment of this Act.
      "(d) Cooperation of support service providers and equipment
manufacturers. Common carriers shall consult, as necessary, in a timely
fashion with appropriate providers of common carrier support services and
telecommunications equipment manufacturers for the purpose of identifying
any services or equipment, including hardware and software, that may
require modification so as to permit compliance with the provisions of
this Act. A provider of common carrier support services or a
telecommunications equipment manufacturer shall make available to a common
carrier on a timely and priority basis, and at a reasonable cost, any
support service or equipment, including hardware or software, which may be
required so as to permit compliance with the provisions of this Act.
      "(e) Enforcement. The Attorney General shall have authority to
enforce the provisions of subsections (a), (b), (c), and (d) of this
section. The Attorney General may apply to the appropriate United States
District Court for an order restraining or enjoining the provision of
service of any common carrier who violates subsection (a), (b), (c), or
(d) of this section. The District Courts shall have jurisdiction to issue
such restraining order or injunction. The Attorney General may also
request the Federal Communications Commission to assist in enforcing the
provisions of this Act.
      "(f) Penalties. Any common carrier that violates any provision of
subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of
$10,000 per day for each day in violation. The Attorney General may file a
civil action in the appropriate United States District Court to collect,
and the United States District Courts shall jurisdiction to impose, such
penalties. After consultation with the Attorney General, the Federal
Communications Commission may also impose regulatory sanctions or fines
otherwise authorized by law.
      "(g) Consultation. The Attorney General is encouraged to consult
with the Federal Communications Commission and common carrier
representatives and to utilize common carrier standards bodies,
associations, or other such organizations to discuss details of the
requirements, such as those related to capacity, in order to facilitate
compliance with the provisions of this Act.
      "(h) Funding. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the
Federal Communications Commission shall implement promptly methods and
procedures that allow each common carrier to be remunerated by the Federal
Government for all reasonable costs incurred in the course of complying
with the requirements of this Act.
      "(i) Definitions. -- As used in this Section --
          (1) 'common carrier' means any person or entity engaged as a
common carrier for hire, as defined by section 3(h) of the Communications
Act of 1934, and includes a commercial mobile service or interconnected
service, as defined in section 6002(b) of Public Law 103-66;
          (2) 'provider of common carrier support services' means any
person or entity who provides services to a common carrier that are
integral to processing, directing, forwarding, or completing telephone
calls or electronic communication transmissions;
          (3) 'wire communication' shall have the same meaning as set
forth in subsection 2510(1) of title 18, United States Code;
          (4) 'electronic communication' shall have the same meaning as
set forth in subsection 2510(12) of title 18, United States Code;
          (5) 'intercept' shall have the same meaning as set forth in
subsection 2510(4) of title 18, United States Code, except that with
regard to a common carrier's transmission of a communication encrypted by
a subscriber, the common carrier shall not be responsible for ensuring the
government agency's ability to acquire the plaintext of the communications
content, unless the encryption was provided by the common carrier and the
common carrier possesses the information necessary to decrypt the
          (6) 'concurrent with the transmission of the communication,' as
used in section 3(a)(2) of this Act, means contemporaneous with the
transmission; but it shall include, with regard to electronic
communications, the ability of a government agency to acquire such
communications at the conclusion of the transmission, and, with regard to
call set up information, the ability to acquire such information either
before, during, or immediately after the transmission of the
          (7) 'call set up information' shall mean the information
generated which identifies the origin and destination of a wire or
electronic communication placed to, or received by, the facility or
service that is the subject of a court order or lawful authorization,
including information associated with any telecommunication system dialing
or calling features or services; and
          (8) 'government' means the Government of the United States and
any agency or instrumentality thereof, the District of Columbia, any
commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States, and any state
or political subdivision thereof authorized by law to conduct electronic


      Chapter 119 of title 18 is amended by making the following changes:
      (1) Cordless telephones.
      (a) _Definitions_. - Section 2510 of title 18, United States Code,
is amended - 
          (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ", but such term does not
include" and all that follows through "base unit"; and 
          (2) in paragraph (12), by striking subparagraph (A) and
redesignating subparagraphs (B) through (D) as subparagraphs (A) through
(C), respectively.
      (b) _Penalty_. - Section 2511 of title 18, United States Code, is
amended - 
          (1) in subsection (4)(b)(i), by inserting "a cordless telephone
communication that is transmitted between a cordless telephone handset and
the base unit," after "cellular telephone communication,"; and
          (2) in subsection (4)(b)(ii), by inserting "a cordless telephone
communication that is transmitted between a cordless telephone handset and
the base unit," after "cellular telephone communication,".
      (2) Radio based data communications.
      Section 2510(16) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by
striking the word "or" at the end of subparagraph (D) and inserting an
"or" at the end of subparagraph (E) and adding the following new
          "(F) an electronic communication;".
      (3) Penalties for monitoring radio communications that are not
scrambled, encrypted, or non-public.
      Section 2511(4)(b) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by
deleting the phrase "or encrypted, then--" and inserting the following:
          ", encrypted, or transmitted using modulation techniques whose
essential parameters have been withheld from the public with the intention
of preserving the privacy or such communication, then--".
      (4)Technical correction.
      Section 2511(2)(a)(i) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by
striking out "used in the transmission of wire communication" and
inserting in lieu thereof "used in the transmission of a wire or
electronic communication.".


End of PRIVACY Forum Digest 03.05

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