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Cryptography's Role in Securing the Information Society

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Citation Edit

National Research Council, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Committee to Study National Cryptography Policy, Cryptography's Role in Securing the Information Society (Kenneth W. Dam & Herbert S. Lin, eds. 1996) (full-text).

Overview Edit

In May 1996, the National Research Council (NRC) released this report. It stressed that national policy should make cryptography broadly available to all legitimate elements of society, promote continued economic growth and leadership of key U.S. industries, and ensure public safety and protection against foreign and domestic threats.

Among the recommendations:

  • key escrow is an unproven technology and the government should experiment with it and work with other nations, but not aggressively promote it now;
  • export controls should be relaxed progressively, but not eliminated; and * encryption policy issues can be debated adequately in public without relying upon classified information.

The report also recommended that no law should bar the manufacture, sale or use of any form of encryption within the United States; and government should promote information security in the private sector. The report underscored that utilization of strong encryption and law enforcement objectives can be mutually compatible.

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