Well, CRISIS is on my bookshelf, if not the Administration's!

Rohit Khare (rohit@fdr.ICS.uci.edu)
Tue, 09 Jun 1998 14:43:58 -0700

Bidzos, as usual, wins the quote of the day...


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Date: Wed, 10 Jun 1998 06:15:57 -0500
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From: Dave Farber <farber@cis.upenn.edu>
Subject: IP: Litt loses credibility
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Date: Tue, 09 Jun 1998 09:29:52 -0400
To: farber@cis.upenn.edu
From: Steve Crocker <crocker@cybercash.com>

The 1998 EPIC Cryptography and Privacy Conference took place yesterday in
Washington D.C. It was an excellent program, but unfortunately the most
memorable moment was a response from Principal Associate Deputy Attorney
General Robert Litt. Litt appeared on a panel about US Encryption Policy.
During the Q&A, he was asked about the National Research Council's report
last year on cryptography policy, Cryptography's Role In Security the
Information Society ("CRISIS").

For those unfamiliar with the report, it's a monumental and thorough work.
The committee included a former deputy Secretary of State (Kenneth W. Dam),
a former deputy commander in chief of the European command in Germany (W.Y.
Smith), a former deputy director of NSA (Ann Caracristi), a former Attorney
General (Benjamin Civiletti). 13 of the 16 committee members had full
security clearances and received the much touted behind the scenes
briefings from the intelligence community. They concluded "debate over the
national cryptographic policy can be carried out in a reasonable manner on
an unclassified basis."

Nonetheless, Litt responded that it was written before he came on board and
therefore he didn't feel obliged to read it. The audience gasped.
Undersecretary of Commerce for Export Administration, William Reinsch,
sitting with him on the panel looked disgusted. Jim Bidzos, president of
RSA, later quipped it was "a gaff of EPIC proportions." The hallway talk
the rest of the day reflected shock at the combination of naivete and
arrogance that continues to pervade the administration.
- ----------------------------------
Steve Crocker Desk: +1 703 716 5214
CyberCash, Inc. Main: +1 703 620 4200
2100 Reston Parkway Fax: +1 703 620 4215
Reston, VA 20191 crocker@cybercash.com

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