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Internet Privacy: Government Should Not Regulate Encryption or Cryptography

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Internet Privacy: Government Should Not Regulate Encryption or Cryptography


Privacy rights have been an important issue through out time, and it has been increasing in importance as we have moved into the electronic/information age. Keeping that privacy had become a growing concern for many businesses and consumers. With all the information being sent across the web, people are very concerned about their personal information falling into the wrong hands. One way to help protect your privacy on the net is by using an encryption program. Even though they are not completely unbreakable, an encryption program is one of the best ways to protect against outside intrusions. Despite this fact, the government wants too place legislation on encryption services that can be a potential danger to both the development of encryption systems and to your rights.

According to the ACLU, the Clinton Administration adopted the "Clipper Chip" plan in 1993. This proposal would require every user of encryption to give the government their decryption keys. This, essentially, would give the government free access to all private and non-private communications, both stored and real-time. "This is the equivalent of the government requiring all homebuilders to embed microphones in the walls of homes and apartments." ( ACLU White Paper: Big Brother in the Wires; Wiretapping in the Digital Age ). There was also a proposal for the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). This FBI-based law would "require the telecommunications industry to build enhanced digital wiretapping capabilities into the Nation's telephone system. (EFF Press Release & Joint EFF/ACLU/EPIC Statement on ACP) There has been strong opposition to this plan. Many peopl...


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...o force encryption users to hand over their decryption keys. It seems as though the government is really more focused on spying on citizens than it is about fighting crime. There does not appear to be any sufficient proof to justify their claim to need decryption keys to fight crime and terrorism (especially terrorism). I believe that if the government wants to use electronic surveillance on encrypted information, for a justifiable reason, then they should work in correspondence with encryption system users. I feel that privacy is a very important right of all people; and people should be able to try and protect it to the best of their ability, as long as no one else gets hurt in the process. People's rights to privacy should not be taken so lightly by our government. I would think that Bill Clinton, of all people, would understand the want, and need, for privacy.


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