File spoon-archives/aut-op-sy.archive/aut-op-sy_1997/aut-op-sy.9704, message 42

Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 19:01:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: ALERT! Hse. Committee to Vote on Internet Privacy Bill Soon (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 09:56:50 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Harry M. Cleaver" <>
To: Accion Zapatista de Austin <>
Cc: Progressive Economists' List <>,
    Progressive Faculty Group <>,
    Chiapas-l <>,
    Mexico2000 <>,
Subject: ALERT! Hse. Committee to Vote on Internet Privacy Bill Soon (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 15:39:26 -0400
From: Bob Palacios <>
Subject: ALERT! Hse. Committee to Vote on Internet Privacy Bill Soon
Resent-Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 15:37:55 -0400

=============================================================================  ___  _     _____ ____ _____ _
 / _ \| |   | ____|  _ \_   _| |   THE HOUSE PREPARES TO ENSURE ENCRYPTION
| |_| | |   |  _| | |_) || | | |    AND PRIVACY ON THE INTERNET; SAFE
|  _  | |___| |___|  _ < | | |_|     BILL (HR 695) ABOUT TO BE VOTED ON!
|_| |_|_____|_____|_| \_\|_| (_)               April 28, 1997

                 Do not forward this alert after June 1, 1997.

                        This alert brought to you by:

    Americans for Tax Reform            Center for Democracy and Technology
    Eagle Forum                         EF-Florida
    Electronic Frontier Foundation      Electronic Privacy Information Ctr.
    Voters Telecommunications Watch     Wired Magazine

Table of Contents
      What's Happening Right Now
      What You Can Do To Help Privacy And Security On The Internet
      Background On SAFE (HR 695)
      Why Is This Issue Important To Internet Users?
      About This Alert / Participating Organizations



The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote on a bill designed to protect
privacy and promote electronic commerce on the Internet as early as the
second week of May.  The SAFE bill will also be considered by a Judiciary
subcommittee this week and is expected to pass without difficulty.

The House Judiciary committee vote on HR695 will mark a critical stage
in the effort to pass real reform of US encryption policy in a way that
protects privacy, promotes electronic commerce, and recognizes the
realities of the global Internet.

Although no bill is perfect, Internet advocates including CDT, EFF,
EPIC, VTW and others, including the Internet Privacy Coalition, have
expressed support for the bill.  Supporters agree that the SAFE bill
holds great promise for enhancing privacy and security on the Internet
and have offered their strong support and suggestions to improve it in
a detailed letter at

Please take a moment to read the attached alert, and make a phone call
to urge the committee to pass the bill.


1. Check out the information on the SAFE bill below.

2. Call the Representative on the Judiciary committee from your state.  Note
   that there may be more than one person from your state on the committee.
   The list is enclosed below the telephone script.

      You:  <dial Capitol switchboard +>
            May I speak to the office of Rep. (INSERT NAME FROM LIST BELOW)

      Them: Hello, Rep. Mojo's office!

       You: May I speak with the staffer who deals with Internet or
            telecom issues?

      Them: One minute..

SAY    You: Hello!  HR695 will be voted on by the Judiciary committee in a
THIS->      couple of weeks.  I'm calling to urge Rep. Mojo to pass the
            bill because it's important to security and privacy on the

      Them: Thanks, goodbye!

       You: Goodbye! <click>

   If you have concerns about specific improvements to the bill, bringing
   them up when you're on the phone with the staffer is a good opportunity
   for raising issues.

              Judiciary Committee Members (from committee Web page)

                        MR. HYDE (ILLINOIS), CHAIRMAN
    Mr. Sensenbrenner (Wisconsin)                Mr. Conyers (Michigan)
    Mr. McCollum (Florida)                       Mr. Frank (Massachusetts)
    Mr. Gekas (Pennsylvania)                     Mr. Schumer (New York)
    Mr. Coble (North Carolina)                   Mr. Berman (California)
    Mr. Smith (Texas)                            Mr. Boucher (Virginia)
    Mr. Schiff (New Mexico)                      Mr. Nadler (New York)
    Mr. Gallegly (California)                    Mr. Scott (Virginia)
    Mr. Canady (Florida)                         Mr. Watt (North Carolina)
    Mr. Inglis (South Carolina)                  Ms. Lofgren (California)
    Mr. Goodlatte (Virginia)                     Ms. Jackson Lee (Texas)
    Mr. Buyer (Indiana)                          Ms. Waters (California)
    Mr. Bono (California)                        Mr. Meehan (Massachusetts)
    Mr. Bryant (Tennessee)                       Mr. Delahunt (Massachusetts)
    Mr. Chabot (Ohio)                            Mr. Wexler (Florida)
    Mr. Barr (Georgia)                           Mr. Rothman (New Jersey)
    Mr. Jenkins (Tennessee)                      Mr. Hutchinson (Arkansas)
    Mr. Pease (Indiana)                          Mr. Cannon (Utah)

3. *IMPORTANT* Touch base with us at and
   let us know how the phone call went.  Fill out the easy to use form to
   let us know what happened during your phone call.

4. Pass this alert on to others until June 1

   You've taken the first step to being a part of the powerful political
   force of Americans concerned about the health and safety of the Internet,
   but have your friends?  Forward this alert to them until June 1, 1997
   and urge them to adopt their legislator at

5. Be proud of yourself and relax!

   You've done more to protect the Internet in five minutes than many people
   will do this year.


In early May, the Judiciary Committee will be voting on whether to send
HR 695, the Security and Freedom Through Encryption (SAFE) Act, on to the
full House of Representatives.

The SAFE Bill, introduced by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Anna Eshoo
(D-CA), would promote privacy and security on the Internet by:

* relaxing current export controls on encryption technologies;

* prohibiting the government from imposing "key-escrow" or "key-
  recovery" inside the United States, and;

* addresses concerns from law enforcement about the use of encryption
  in the furtherance of a crime.

The SAFE bill enjoys broad bi-partisan support and currently has 78

Although no bill is ever perfect, the SAFE bill, along with Pro-CODE, a
similar bill in the Senate sponsored by Sens. Burns (R-MT) and Leahy
(D-VT), represent the best chance yet of passing real reform of US
encryption policy.  The Senate Commerce Committee is expected to hold a
markup on Pro-CODE soon.

The Clinton Administration, through the FBI and NSA, is working hard
behind the scenes to block passage of SAFE and Pro-CODE. The
Administration favors an approach which would limit the availability of
privacy-protecting encryption technologies and compel American Citizens
to ensure law enforcement access to their private online

By passing the SAFE bill and sending on to the floor, the House
Judiciary Committee will send a strong signal to the Administration
that Congress is serious about passing real reform of US encryption
policy, and would represent an important victory in the fight for
privacy on the Internet.

Detailed background information, including the full text of the bill,
and analysis is available online at


Encryption technologies are the locks and keys of the Information age
-- enabling individuals and businesses to protect sensitive information
as it is transmitted over the Internet. As more and more individuals
and businesses come online, the need for strong, reliable, easy-to-use
encryption technologies has become a critical issue to the health and
viability of the Net.

Current US encryption policy, which limits the strength of encryption
products US companies can sell abroad, also limits the availability of
strong, easy-to-use encryption technologies in the United States. US
hardware and software manufacturers who wish to sell their products on
the global market must either conform to US encryption export limits or
produce two separate versions of the same product, a costly and
complicated alternative.

The export controls, which the NSA and FBI argue help to keep strong
encryption out of the hands of foreign adversaries, are having the
opposite effect. Strong encryption is available abroad, but because of
the export limits and the confusion created by nearly four years of
debate over US encryption policy, strong, easy-to-use privacy and
security technologies are not widely available off the shelf or "on the
net" here in the US.

A recently discovered flaw in the security of the new digital telephone
network exposed the worst aspects of the Administration's encryption
policy.  Because the designers needed to be able to export their
products, the system's security was "dumbed down".  Researchers
subsequently discovered that it is quite easy to break the security of the
system and intrude on what should be private conversations.

This incident underscores the larger policy problem: US companies are
at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace when competing
against companies that do not have such hindrances.  And now, for the first
time in history, the Clinton Administration has proposed DOMESTIC
RESTRICTIONS on the ability of Americans to protect their privacy and
security online.

All of us care about our national security, and no one wants to make it
any easier for criminals and terrorists to commit criminal acts. But we
must also recognize encryption technologies can aid law enforcement
and protect national security by limiting the threat of industrial
espionage and foreign spying, promote electronic commerce and protecting

What's at stake in this debate is nothing less than the future of
privacy and the fate of the Internet as a secure and trusted medium for
commerce, education, and political discourse.


For more information, contact the following organizations who have signed onto
this effort at their web sites.

Americans for Tax Reform                       
Center for Democracy and Technology            
Eagle Forum                             
Electronic Frontier Foundation                 
Electronic Privacy Information Center         
Voters Telecommunications Watch                
Wired Magazine                               

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