CyberWire Dispatch // Copyright (c) 1994 //

Jacking in from a Crypto-Rebel Base Port:

Washington, DC -- The Administration will lift the veil on its report of federal policies and procedures for encryption and telecommunications security related products and technologies tomorrow.

Administration sources told Dispatch the White House will back the controversial Clipper Chip proposal, endorse the FBI's Digital Telephony Wiretap Bill, and give tacit approval to the National Security Agency's desire to have a broader role in setting standards for both military and civilian electronic surveillance procedures.

In other words, the White House screwed the pooch.

The review, directed by President Clinton on April 16 of last year, is part of a White House technology initiative for secure telephone communications. The White House cobbled together an ad hoc panel that drew comments from consultants, industry and the public. The review includes an analysis of current export controls on products that encrypt data and communications.

Administration sources declined to cough up the details in what's sure to fuel an already inflamed controversy over its desire to have U.S. firms voluntarily adopt the Clipper Chip encryption program, as well as the program's attendant "dual key escrow" scheme.

Administration sources did say that the White House "won't issue mandatory encryption policies" for the public. "Private encryption schemes will still be allowed," said a senior Administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "But if you want to do business, any business, with the government, you'll have to sign onto Clipper," he said.

Meeks out....