Encryption Export Regulations Essay, Research Paper
Recent Crypto News and Documents
BXA Issues Revised Encryption Export Regulations. On October 18, the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) announced further revisions to the export regulations on encryption products. The new rules amend the Export Administration Requirements (EAR) and liberalize the export and reexport of encryption products to the 15 European Union member states and Australia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland and Switzerland. The Administration first stated its intention to update it’s encryption policy on July 17, 2000 in response to the European Union’s decision earlier that month to create a “license free zone” for most encryption technologies.
Court Rules that Crypto Source Code is Speech. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled on April 4 that “because computer source code is an expressive means for the exchange of information and ideas about computer programming, . . . it is protected by the First Amendment.” The court decision was issued in Junger v. Daley, a legal challenge to U.S. export controls on encryption software. The case, in which EPIC filed an amicus brief, will now return to a lower court for consideration of the impact of new U.S. export regulations issued in January.
EPIC Releases International Crypto Survey. On April 3, the Electronic Privacy Information Center released a study on encryption policies in 135 countries. Cryptograpy and Liberty 2000 finds that that the trend toward relaxation of export controls is continuing, but also that law enforcement agencies are seeking new authority and new funding to gain access to private keys and personal communications.
Revised Crypto Export Control Rules Released. The U.S. Commerce Department on January 12 announced the issuance of revised regulations governing the export of encryption products. While permitting the export of previously controlled items, the new rules maintain a complex and burdensome licensing scheme, and retain substantial restrictions on the ability to exchange information concerning encryption.
Draft Crypto Regs Fall Short of Administration Promises. The Commerce Department has released draft regulations on encryption exports. The proposed revision would established a complex and burdensome regulatory regime that falls far short of the major liberalization promised by the Administration in its September announcement of a policy change.
Administration Announces New Encryption Policy. On September 16, the White House announced revisions to U.S. export controls on encryption, the specific details of which have not yet been drafted. As part of its new initiative, the Administration released a final version of the Cyberspace Electronic Security Act (CESA), which addresses law enforcement access to decryption keys; funding for the Technical Support Center in the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and protecting the confidentiality of government techniques used to obtain access to plaintext. EPIC is questioning whether the privacy of average users will truly be enhanced under the new policy. A complete archive of materials is available, including the text of CESA and a transcript of the White House press briefing.
House Committees Gut SAFE Crypto Bill. Two House Committees have completely overhauled the Security and Freedom Through Encryption (SAFE) bill, which would relax export controls on encryption. The revised language and legislative reports issued by the House Armed Services Committee and the House Intelligence Committee are available online. The various versions of the SAFE bill will now go to the House Rules Committee, which will decide which language will be presented to the full House.
House Committee Amends and Approves SAFE Crypto Bill. On June 23, the House Commerce Committee approved the Security and Freedom Through Encryption (SAFE) bill, which would relax export controls on encryption, with several amendments. One of the amendments (PDF format) would make it a crime to fail to decrypt encrypted information when ordered to do so.
Government Seeks Review of Crypto Decision. The Department of Justice filed a petition for rehearing on June 21 seeking to overturn the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s opinion in the Bernstein case,which held that encryption source code is scientific expression protected by the First Amendment.
Appeals Court Rules Crypto Controls Unconstitutional. In a long-awaited landmark decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on May 6 that U.S. controls on the export of encryption software violate the First Amendment. EPIC participated in the case — Bernstein v. Department of Justice — as a friend-of-the-court and filed an amicus brief opposing the controls.
Encryption Export Bill Introduced in Senate. The PROTECT Act of 1999 (Promote Reliable On Line Transactions To Encourage Commerce and Trade) was introduced in the U.S. Senate on April 14. See the floor statements of the