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U.S. claims victory on global encryption exports
WASHINGTON, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Clinton administration officials on
Thursday said they had convinced other leading countries to impose
strict>new export controls on computer data scrambling products under the
At a meeting on Thursday in Vienna, the 33 countries that have signed
the Wassenaar Arrangement limiting arms exports -- including Japan, Germany
and Britain -- agreed to impose controls on the most powerful data
scrambling technologies, including for the first time mass market software,
U.S. special envoy for cryptography David Aaron told Reuters.
The United States, which restricts exports of a wide range of data
scrambling products, has long sought without success to convince other
countries to impose similar restrictions.
Leading U.S. high-technology companies, including Microsoft
Corp.<MSFT.O> and Intel Corp.<INTC.O>, have complained that the lack of
restrictions in other countries hampered their ability to compete abroad.
The industry has sought to have U.S. restrictions relaxed or repealed, but
not asked for tighter controls in other countries.
Aaron said the Wassenaar countries agreed to continue export controls on
powerful scrambling, or encryption, products in general but ended an
exemption for widely available software containing encryption.
The new policy also reduced reporting and paperwork requirements and
specifically excluded from export controls products that used encryption to
protect intellectual property, like movies or recordings sent over the
Internet, from illegal copying, Aaron said.
((Aaron Pressman, Washington newsroom, 202-898-8312))
Thursday, 3 December 1998 12:57:40