Americans for Computer Privacy
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Encryption technology bolsters your privacy


For Immediate Release
(10 April 2000)
Bruce Lott
(202) 661-3898



Coalition Issues Principles Setting Forth Proper Roles Of Industry and Government In Securing Networks and Protecting Privacy
Click here for the complete list of principles.

Washington, DC-- Americans for Computer Privacy (ACP) has led the successful effort during the past two years to permit the widespread use of strong American encryption products in order to protect privacy, promote national security, and prevent crime. ACP fought against domestic controls on the use of encryption, including "back door" requirements. ACP also was instrumental in persuading the Administration to relax export controls on encryption products. This year, ACP continues to closely monitor the regulatory implementation of the Administration’s new policy and to oppose any efforts by foreign governments to erect import barriers to American products or to impose domestic controls on the use of encryption.

But as recent Internet viruses and denial of service attacks have reminded us, more needs to be done to secure the information systems that many sectors of the U.S. economy (utilities, banking, communications, transportation, health care, e-commerce) as well as the U.S. government rely upon extensively. Protecting the information infrastructure used for these critical sectors is essential for U.S. national security, American economic welfare, and our fundamental freedoms.

ACP believes that critical information infrastructure protection is best accomplished through private sector solutions that are market driven and industry led. The private sector not only built and maintains the products, networks, and systems that are integral to the information infrastructure, but it also possesses the knowledge and expertise necessary for its protection. Importantly, the U.S. government thus far has recognized that it should work cooperatively with industry on a voluntary basis to deter, identify and respond to cyber threats and attacks. In addition, the Administration has proposed and Congress has funded numerous initiatives to strengthen the government’s technological capabilities.

ACP applauds the initiatives that are already under way and will cooperate with the government in these initiatives. However, ACP also is concerned about the possibility of overreaction to denial-of-service or other potential cyber attacks. Such overreaction could generate new laws or regulations that would stifle innovation, artificially channel R&D, and harm the very infrastructure that needs protection.

It is essential that the government not use legitimate threats to computer security as a justification for assuming new powers of regulation, imposing new burdens upon industry, or threatening fundamental rights of privacy. The government must not mandate technologies or dictate standards. The government also must not increase widespread surveillance or monitoring of citizens at home and work. Finally, the government should not rush to pass new laws or adopt new regulations until it is demonstrated that current legal regimes are inadequate.

In order to guide government decision makers, ACP has adopted five simple principles:

  • Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIIP) is best accomplished through private sector solutions that are market driven and industry led;
  • Governments and industry must work cooperatively on a voluntary basis towards achieving CIIP;
  • Government must not mandate the choice of technologies or dictate standards or processes;
  • Governments must not violate personal and corporate privacy in the quest for CIIP; and
  • Barriers to strong CIIP should be removed, including barriers to the widespread use of strong encryption.

Click here for the complete list of principles

Americans for Computer Privacy (ACP) is a broad-based coalition that brings together more than 100 companies and 40 associations representing financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications, high-tech and transportation, as well as law enforcement, civil-liberty, pro-family and taxpayer groups. ACP supports policies that advance the rights of American citizens to encode information without fear of government intrusion, and advocates the lifting of export restrictions on U.S.-made encryption products. ACP also supports policies that promote industry led, market driven solutions to critical information infrastructure protection and opposes government efforts to impose mandates or design standards, or to increase widespread monitoring or surveillance.  |  © 1998 - 2003 Americans for Computer Privacy  |  Site Credits  |  Privacy Policy

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