FBI Encryption bill defeated

Rodney Joffe rjoffe at genuity.net
Thu Sep 25 21:49:53 UTC 1997

Operational interest to all ISPs:

Rodney Joffe
Chief Technology Officer
Genuity Inc., a Bechtel company


From: Alan Davidson
To: crypto at spa.org
Subject: [1 Crypto] Update: Oxley/Manton defeated 35-16
Date: Wednesday, September 24, 1997 9:06PM

[Now available on CDT's Web site...]

The House Commerce Committee has approved a modified version of SAFE
this evening, rejecting the FBI-backed Oxley-Manton "Big Brother"
amendment on a vote of 35-16.   The export relief provisions of the
original SAFE bill
were passed intact.

The Committee also approved an amendment offered by Reps. Markey (D-MA)
White (R-WA).  The amendment create a National Electronic Technologies
Center (NET Center) which would assist law enforcement in research and
would provide assistance to federal, state, and local law enforcement
agencies in coping with encryption encountered in the course of
investigations.  The amendment also  would direct the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to conduct a
of the implications of mandatory key recovery, and  increases the
penalties under SAFE for the use of encryption in the furtherance of a
federal felony.   The amendment passed 40-11.

The Committee then approved SAFE, with the Markey-White amendment, on a
vote of 44-6.

Today's vote is an significant defeat for efforts to impose domestic
controls on encryption. In the face of tremendous pressure from the FBI,
the Commerce Committee chose not to require all Americans to use
that guarantees law enforcement "immediate access" to their private

The bill now must be reconciled with versions approved by four other
committees before moving to the House floor.  Rules Committee Chairman
Gerald Solomon (R-NY) stated today that he will not bring SAFE up for
consideration unless it contained the Oxley-Manton amendment.  As a
it appears unlikely that the bill will be voted on by the House any time

More information, along with the text of the amendments, will be posted
soon at http://www.cdt.org/crypto.

[Note: The unofficial text of the Markey-White Amendment -- as it was
originally intended to be introduced today before some modifications due
procedural manuevers -- is now available on CDT's web site. We hope to
the official text available tomorrow.]

More information about the NANOG mailing list