Industry CEOs Offer Support For Clinton's Encryption Plan - InformationWeek

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Industry CEOs Offer Support For Clinton's Encryption Plan

Computer industry CEOs today lent qualified support to the Clinton administration's easing of export controls on 56-bit encryption, but said they will continue to push for freer export of 64-bit encryption tools next year.

The Computer Systems Policy Project, a coalition of CEOs of the United States' 12 largest computer manufacturers, hailed the eased regulations, posted today on the Bureau of Export Administration's Web site. The regulations, announced by the White House in September, will take effect Jan. 1.

"It's good progress, but we're not done yet," said Ken Kay, executive director of CSPP in Washington, D.C. "It's the same kind of decontrol for 56-bit encryption that we had had for 40-bit. In the next 90 days, we hope to get this extended to 64-bit."

The battle for looser encryption export regulations has raged for several years, pitting the industry's desire to meet overseas demand for strong encryption with the administration's concern about the potential use of such tools by foreign terrorists or hostile governments. CSPP members include IBM's Louis Gerstner, Compaq's Eckhard Pfeiffer, Hewlett-Packard's Lew Platt, and Sun Microsystems' Scott McNealy.

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