Computer underground Digest Sun July 5, 1992 Volume 4 : Issue 28 Editors: Jim Thomas and G
Computer underground Digest Sun July 5, 1992 Volume 4 : Issue 28
Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET)
Copy Editor: Etaion Shrdlu, Jr.
Firstbooksisoutmeister: B. Kehoe
Ex-Arcmeister: Bob Kusumoto
Koalameister: Dan Carosone
CONTENTS, #4.28 (July 5, 1992)
File 1--May '92 Version of FBI Digital Telephony Proposal
File 2--Chronicle Crypto Article
File 3--Re: Subbed to CuD
File 4--Govt & Corp Sysops Monitoring Users & Email
File 5--Call for papers : Digitisation
Back issues of CuD can be found in the Usenet alt.society.cu-digest
news group, on CompuServe in DL0 and DL4 of the IBMBBS SIG, DL1 of
LAWSIG, and DL0 and DL12 of TELECOM, on Genie in the PF*NPC RT
libraries, on the PC-EXEC BBS at (414) 789-4210, and by anonymous ftp
from ftp.eff.org (126.96.36.199) and ftp.ee.mu.oz.au
European distributor: ComNet in Luxembourg BBS (++352) 466893.
COMPUTER UNDERGROUND DIGEST is an open forum dedicated to sharing
information among computerists and to the presentation and debate of
diverse views. CuD material may be reprinted as long as the source
is cited. Some authors do copyright their material, and they should
be contacted for reprint permission. It is assumed that non-personal
mail to the moderators may be reprinted unless otherwise specified.
Readers are encouraged to submit reasoned articles relating to
computer culture and communication. Articles are preferred to short
responses. Please avoid quoting previous posts unless absolutely
DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent
the views of the moderators. Digest contributors assume all
responsibility for ensuring that articles submitted do not
violate copyright protections.
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1992 21:10:20 EDT
From: Dave Banisar
Subject: File 1--May '92 Version of FBI Digital Telephony Proposal
The following is the latest version of the FBI Digital Telephony
Proposal, introduced in May 1992. This version removes the previous
language that authorized the FCC to set standards and now places it
solely in the hands of the Attorney General. Fines are $10,000/day for
non compliance with services within the public switched network having
18 months to comply and services outside having three years. The
proposal now mandates that the capability for remote government
wiretapping must be included into the system.
This proposal clearly enhances the ability of the FBI to monitor
communications. It takes the unprecedented step of placing control over
certification of telecommunications equipment in the hands of the
Attorney General and requires that the equipment be constructed to allow
government have the ability to monitor communications from a
"government monitoring facility remote from the target facility." All
telecommunications users should be concerned by the privacy and
security implications of creating systems that have holes for the
government or any other knowledgeable user to plug into.
CPSR Washington Office
IN THE SENATE
[IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES]
M. ________________ introduced the following bill; which was
referred to the Committee on__________________
To ensure the continuing access of law enforcement to the content of wire
and electronic communications when authorized by law and for other
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,
SEC. 1. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.
(a) The Congress finds:
(1) that telecommunications systems and networks are often
used in the furtherance of criminal activities including organized
crime, racketeering, extortion, kidnapping, espionage, terrorism, and
trafficking in illegal drugs;
(2) that recent and continuing advances in telecommunications
technology, and the introduction of new technologies and transmission
modes by the telecommunications industry, have made it increasingly
difficult for government agencies to implement lawful orders or
authorizations to intercept wire and electronic communications and thus
threaten the ability of such agencies effectively to enforce the laws and
protect the national security; and
(3) that without the assistance and cooperation of providers of
electronic communication services and private branch exchange operators,
the introduction of new technologies and transmission modes into
telecommunications systems without consideration and accommodation
of the need of government agencies lawfully to intercept wire and
electronic communications would impede the ability of such agencies
effectively to carry out their responsibilities.
(b) The purposes of this Act are to clarify the responsibilities of
providers of electronic communication services and private branch
exchange operators to provide such assistance as necessary to ensure the
ability of government agencies to implement lawful court orders or
authorizations to intercept wire and electronic communications. SEC. 2.
(a) Providers of electronic communication services and private branch
exchange operators shall provide within the United States capability and
capacity for the government to intercept wire and electronic
communications when authorized by law:
(1) concurrent with the transmission of the communication to
the recipient of the communication;
(2) in the signal form representing the content of the
communication between the subject of the intercept and any individual
with whom the subject is communicating, exclusive of any other signal
representing the content of the communication between any other
subscribers or users of the electronic communication services provider or
private branch exchange operator, and including information on the
individual calls (including origin, destination and other call set-up
information), and services, systems, and features used by the subject of the
(3) notwithstanding the mobility of the subject of the intercept or
the use by the subject of the intercept of any features of the
telecommunication system, including, but not limited to, speed- dialing or
call forwarding features;
(4) at a government monitoring facility remote from the target
facility and remote from the system of the electronic communication
services provider or private branch exchange operator;
(5) without detection by the subject of the intercept or any
(6) without degradation of any subscribers telecommunications
(b) Providers of electronic communication services within the
public switched network, including local exchange carriers, cellular
service providers, and interexchange carriers, shall comply with
subsection (a) of this section within eighteen months from the date of
enactment of this subsection.
(c) Providers of electronic communication services outside of the
public switched network, including private branch exchange operators,
shall comply with subsection (a) of this section within three years from
the date of enactment of the subsection.
(d) The Attorney General, after consultation with the
Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration and Federal
Communications Commission, as appropriate, may except from the
application of subsections (a), (b) and (c) of this section classes
and types of providers of electronic communication services and
private branch exchange operators. The Attorney General may waive the
application of subsections (a), (b) and (c) of this section at the
request of any provider of electronic communication services or
private branch exchange operator.
(e) The Attorney General shall have exclusive authority to
enforce the provisions of subsections (a), (b) and (c) of this section. The
Attorney General may apply to the appropriate United States District Court
for an order restraining or enjoining any violation of subsection (a),
(b) or (c) of this section. The District Court shall have
jurisdiction to restrain and enjoin violations of subsections (a) of
this section. (f) Any person who willfully violates any provision
of subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty
of $10,000 per day for each day in violation. The Attorney General
may file a civil action in the appropriate United States District
Court to collect, and the United States District Courts shall have
jurisdiction to impose, such fines.
(g) Definitions--As used in subsections (a) through (f) of this
(1) provider of electronic communication service or private
branch exchange operator means any service or operator which provides
to users thereof the ability to send or receive wire or electronic
communication, as those terms are defined in subsections 2510(1) and
2510(12) of Title 18, United States code, respectively, but does not include
the government of the United States or any agency thereof;
(2) communication means any wire or electronic
communication, as defined in subsections 2510(1) and 2510(12), of Title 18,
United States Code;
(3) intercept shall have the same meaning as set forth in section
2510(4) of Title 18, United States Code; and
(4) government' means the Government of the United States
and any agency or instrumentality thereof, any state or political
subdivision thereof, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth,
territory or possession of the United States.
DIGITAL TELEPHONY AND INTERCEPTION BY CRIMINAL LAW
The telecommunications systems and networks are often used to
further criminal activities including white collar and organized
crime, racketeering, extortion, kidnapping, espionage, terrorism, and
trafficking in illegal drugs. Accordingly, for many years, one of the
most important tools in the investigation of crime for Federal and
State criminal law enforcement agencies has been the court authorized
interception of communications. As illustrated below, the majority of
original authorizations to intercept wire or electronic communications
are conducted by State criminal law enforcement agencies.
Interception Applications Authorized
State Federal Total
1984 512 289 801
1985 541 243 784
1986 504 250 754
1987 437 236 673
1988 445 293 738
1989 453 310 763
1990 548 324 872
Total 3,440 1,945 5,385
Approximately, 3/8 of authorized interceptions were conducted by Federal
agencies, while 5/8 of the authorized interceptions were conducted by State
criminal law enforcement agencies.1
The recent and continuing advances in
telecommunications technology, and the introduction of new technologies
by the telecommunications industry, have made it increasingly difficult
for government agencies to implement lawful orders or authorizations to
intercept wire and electronic communications, as well as to implement
pen register and trap-and-trace court orders or authorizations. These new
technologies inadvertently undermine the ability of criminal law
enforcement agencies to enforce effectively the criminal laws and protect
the national security. Without the assistance and cooperation of the
telecommunications industry, these new technologies will impede the
ability of the telecommunications industry, these new technologies will
impede the ability of the government to enforce the criminal law.
Accordingly, the purpose of this bill is to clarify the existing
responsibilities of electronic communication services providers and private
branch exchange operators, as established, for example, in 18 U.S.C. ____
2518(4), 3124(A), (B), to provide such assistance as necessary to ensure the
ability of government agencies to implement lawful orders or
authorizations to intercept communications.
Over the past twenty-five years, the working relationship between
the criminal law enforcement community, particularly the Federal
Bureau of Investigation as the federal governments primary criminal
law enforcement agency, and the telecommunications industry, in
response to the appropriate court orders or authorizations, has
provided government agencies with timely access to the signals
containing the content of communications covered by the court orders
or authorizations. As a general proposition, this has involved
providing the means to acquire the communication as it occurs between
two individual telephone users at a remote location, not dissimilar to
a call in which the two originating parties do not know that a third
party is listening, and in which the third party (the criminal law
enforcement agency) records the authorized and relevant calls.
Historically, and with relatively few exceptions, the
telecommunications industry has provided the criminal law enforcement
community with the ability to monitor and record calls:
1. at the same time as the call is transmitted to the recipient;
2. in the same form as the content of the call was transmitted
through the network, notwithstanding the use by the target of custom
features of the network;
3. whether stationary or mobile;
4. at the government monitoring facility;
5. without detection by the target or other subscribers; and
without degrading any subscribers service.
However, the introduction of new technology has begun to erode the
ability of the government to fully effectuate interceptions, pen
registers and trap-and-race court orders or authorizations that are
critical to detecting and prosecuting criminals. As technology has
developed, the telecommunications industry has not always ensured the
continued ability to provide the same services to the criminal law
enforcement community. The telecommunications industrys introduction
of certain types of new technology poses real problems for effective
criminal law enforcement. Legislation is necessary to ensure that the
government will be provided with this capability and capacity in the
future by all providers and operators and to maintain a level playing
field among competitive providers and operators in the
There have been instances in which court orders authorizing the
interception of communications have not been fulfilled because of
technical limitations within particular telecommunications networks.
For example, as early as 1986, limited capabilities became apparent in
at least one network which will only be corrected later in 1992. This
technical deficiency in a new technology forced criminal law
enforcement agencies to prioritize certain interceptions to the
exclusion of other court orders. Accordingly, for approximately six
years, there have been court orders that have not been sought by the
criminal law enforcement community or executed by the
telecommunications industry and, as a consequence, important criminal
investigations have not been brought to fruition or have been less
than efficiently concluded. This is one classic example of new
technology affecting adversely the criminal law enforcement community:
a microcosm of what may be expected on a nationwide basis without
enactment of this legislation.
Section 1 of the bill states Congressional findings and purpose.
Section 2 is divided into seven subsections. Subsection (a)
establishes as a matter of law the responsibility of electronic
communication services providers and private branch exchange operators
to continue to provide, within the United States, the capability and
capacity for criminal law enforcement agencies to intercept wire and
electronic communications when authorized by law. These subsections
delineate the existing attributes of wire or electronic communication
1. Concurrent with Transmission. The application for a court order
to intercept telecommunications conversations or data transmissions is
rarely a leisurely process. For example, on the Federal side, the
development of the required affidavits, submission to the Criminal
Division of the Department of Justice for approval, transmission of
approval to the Assistant United States Attorney, the appearance of
the Assistant before a judge to request the order and the delivery of
the judges order to the appropriate telecommunications company is
frequently completed in a very short time. However, crime waits for
no one and the system for approval of interceptions must and does
conform with the realities of the activity that is sought to be
investigated and, if appropriate, prosecuted as criminal offenses.
Since time is of the essence, current law requires that service
providers and operators provide the government forthwith all
information, facilities and technical assistance necessary to
accomplish its mission. It is critical that the telecommunications
industry respond quickly to execute the court order or authorization.
The ultimate problem of timeliness, however, is the real-time
monitoring of the intercepted communications. As serious and
potentially life- threatening criminal conduct is detected, it may be
necessary to move quickly to protect innocent victims from that
conduct. Accordingly, real-time monitoring is critical.
2. Isolated Signal and Services Used. Nearly all of the
communications network is partially Ranalogs at this time. In
conducting an interception, for example, of a telephone conversation,
the government is allowed to monitor and record criminal conversation
such as a conspiracy, minimizing the acquisition of non-criminal or
innocent conversation. When an electronic communication services
provider or private branch exchange operator introduces a new
technology--such as a digital signal--the communications are converted
into a different and more efficient form for transmission, but a more
difficult form to monitor during interception. The bill requires only
that the provider or operator isolate and provide access to the
electronic signal that represents the content of the communications of
the target of the intercept2 from the stream of electronic signals
representing other communications. This provision seeks to ensure
that, in the new electronic environment in which signals are mixed for
transmission and separated at another switch for distribution, the
government does not receive the communications of any individual other
than the individuals using the targets communications point of origin
and receipt; the government must remain subject to the minimization
standards of 18 U.S.C. __ 2518(5).
This provision also makes it clear that an electronic communication
services provider or private branch exchange operator is not required
to provide for reconversion of the isolated communication to analog or
other form. The government expects that this process will be
accomplished by the government.
3. Mobility and Features. Increasingly, criminal acts are being
conducted or discussed over cellular telephones or by using special
telecommunications features. As this mobility is introduced, the
electronic communication services providers and private branch
exchange operators would be required to assure the capability and
capacity for criminal law enforcement agencies to continue lawful
Further, this subsection makes it clear that features used by the
target do not defeat the court order or authorization. For example,
communications which have been addressed to the telephone number of
the target, but which may have been programmed through a
call-forwarding feature to another, otherwise innocent, telephone
number, must be captured and made available to criminal law
enforcement authorities pursuant to court order or authorization.
This requirement will obviate the need for applications for authority
to monitor otherwise innocent telephone numbers that receive, only
intermittently, calls forwarded by the target. The effect of this
provision is to further minimize monitoring of calls of innocent
parties. Similarly, certain speed dialing features that mask the
telephone number called by the target must be identified for criminal
law enforcement investigation. The ability to consistently determine
the destination of calls is critical to minimizing the monitoring of
4. Government Monitoring Facility. Government agencies do not
normally request the use of telecommunications industry physical
facilities to conduct authorized interceptions nor is it encourage by
the industry. Normally, the government leases a line from the
electronic communication services providers or private branch
exchange operators switch to another location owned or operated by the
government. This minimizes the cost and intrusiveness of
interceptions, which benefits the service provider or operator, as
well as the government. Accordingly, the ability to monitor
intercepted communications remotely is critical.
5. Without Detection. One of the reasons that governments operate
their own facilities is to reduce the risk of detection of the
interception, which would render the interception worthless. At the
present time, the existence of an interception is unknown to any
subscriber and is not detectable by the target, notwithstanding
folklore and spy novels. This provision merely ensures that the
secrecy of effective interceptions will be maintained.
6. Without Degradation. Maintaining the quality of the telephone
network is in the interest of the government, the industry and the
public. Presently, the existence of an interception has no effect on
the quality of the service provided by any network to the target or
any subscriber. This provision ensures that the quality of the
network will continue to be uncompromised. Absent the assistance
delineated by this legislation, the execution of court orders and
authorizations by the government could well disrupt service of the
newer technological systems, a result that this legislation seeks to
Subsection (b) provides that electronic communication services
providers and private branch exchange operators with the public
switched networkS must be in compliance with the minimum intercept
attributes within eighteen months after enactment. Thereafter, new
technologies must continue to meet these minimum attributes.
Subsection (c) provides that electronic communication service
providers and private branch exchange operators that are not within
the public switched networkS must be in compliance with the minimum
intercept attributes within eighteen months after enactment.
Thereafter, new technologies must continue to meet these minimum
Subsection (d) provides that the Attorney General may grant
exceptions to the affirmative requirements of subsection (a), as well
as the implementation deadlines of subsections (b) and (c). In
considering any request for exception, the Attorney General will
consult with Federal Communications Commission, the Small Business
Administration and the Department of Commerce, as appropriate.
Accordingly, the Attorney General has the authority to except, for
example, whole classes, categories or types of private branch exchange
operators where no serious criminal law enforcement problems are
likely to arise, such as hospital telephone systems.
This subsection also permits the Attorney General to waive the
requirements of subsections (a), (b) and (c) on application by an
electronic communication services provider or private branch exchange
operator. Accordingly, if a particular company can not comply with
one or more of the requirements of subsection (a), or needs time
additional to that permitted under subsections (b) or (c), the
Attorney General may grant an appropriate waiver.
Subsection (e) provides that the Attorney General has exclusive
authority to enforce the provisions of the bill. While a number of
States have authority to seek and execute interception orders, they
will be required to seek the assistance of the Attorney General if
enforcement of this legislation is required. This section also
provides for injunctive relief from violations of the provisions of
Subsection (f) provides for enforcement of the provisions of the bill
through imposition of civil fines against any company that is not
excepted from the provisions of the bill, does not acquire a waiver of
the provisions of the bill, and fails to meet the requirements of
subsection (a) after the effective dates set out in subsection (b) or
(c), as appropriate. A fine of up to $10,000 per day for each day in
violation may be levied; for most companies in the telecommunications
industry this amount is sufficient to ensure that compliance will be
forthcoming. Although this provision is not expected to be used, it
is critical to ensure that compliance with the provisions of the bill
will occur after the effective dates of the requirements of subsection
Subsection (g) carries forward a number of definitions from the
current provisions for the interception of wire or electronic
communications under Ritle III.S The definition of government that
is currently in use includes all States, territories and possessions
of the United States, as well as the United States, is made applicable
to the bill.
1 Interceptions for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence
purposes are not counted within the figures used here, but would likewise
benefit from enactment of the legislation.
2 Whether the content is voice, facsimile, imagery (e.g. video), computer
data, signalling information, or other forms of communication, does not
matter; all forms of communication are intercepted.
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 18:02:18 CDT
From: Joe.Abernathy@HOUSTON.CHRON.COM(Joe Abernathy)
Subject: File 2--Chronicle Crypto Article
This cryptography article appeared Sunday, June 21. It is being
forwarded to Risks as a way of giving back something to the many
thoughtful participants here who helped give shape to the questions
and the article.
In a companion submission, I include the scanned text of the NSA's
13-page response to my interview request, which appears to be the most
substantial response they've provided to date. I would like to invite
feedback and discussion on the article and the NSA document. Please
send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
"PROMISING TECHNOLOGY ALARMS GOVERNMENT"
"Use of super-secret codes would block legal phone taps
in FBI's crime work"
By JOE ABERNATHY
Copyright 1992, Houston Chronicle
Government police and spy agencies are trying to thwart new
technology that allows conversations the feds can't tap.
A form of cryptography _ the science of writing and deciphering
codes _ this technology holds the promise of guaranteeing true privacy
for transactions and communications.
But an array of federal agencies is seeking to either outlaw or
severely restrict its use, pointing out the potency of truly secret
communications as a criminal tool.
"Cryptography offers or appears to offer something that is
unprecedented,'' said Whitfield Diffie, who with a Stanford University
colleague devised public key cryptography,'' an easily used
cryptography that is at the center of the fight. "It looks as though
an individual might be able to protect information in such a way that
the concerted efforts of society are not going to be able to get at
"No safe you can procure has that property; the strongest safes
won't stand an hour against oxygen lances. But cryptography may be
different. I kind of understand why the police don't like it.''
The National Security Agency, whose mission is to conduct espionage
against foreign governments and diplomats, sets policy for the
government on matters regarding cryptography.
But the FBI is taking the most visible role. It is backing
legislation that would address police fears by simply outlawing any
use of secure cryptography in electronic communications.
The ban would apply to cellular phones, computer networks, and the
newer standard telephone equipment _ already in place in parts of
Houston's phone system and expected to gain wider use nationwide.
"Law enforcement needs to keep up with technology,'' said Steve
Markardt, a spokesman for the FBI in Washington. "Basically what
we're trying to do is just keep the status quo. We're not asking for
anything more intrusive than we already have.''
He said the FBI uses electronic eavesdropping only on complex
investigations involving counterterrorism, foreign intelligence,
organized crime, and drugs. "In many of those,'' he said, we would not
be able to succeed without the ability to lawfully intercept.''
The State and Commerce departments are limiting cryptography's
spread through the use of export reviews, although many of these
reviews actually are conducted by the NSA. The National Institute of
Standards and Technol ogy, meanwhile, is attempting to impose a
government cryptographic standard that critics charge is flawed, al
though the NSA defends the standard as adequate for its intended,
"It's clear that the government is unilaterally trying to implement
a policy that it's developed,'' said Jim Bidzos, president of RSA Data
Security, which holds a key cryptography patent. "Whose policy is it,
and whose interest does it serve? Don't we have a right to know what
policy they're pursuing?''
Bidzos and a growing industry action group charge that the policy
is crippling American business at a critical moment.
The White House, Commerce Department, and NIST refused to comment.
The NSA, however, agreed to answer questions posed in writing by
the Houston Chronicle. Its purpose in granting the rare, if limited,
access, a spokesman said, was "to give a true reflection'' of the
policy being implemented by the agency.
"Our feeling is that cryptography is like nitroglycerin: Use it
sparingly then put it back under trusted care,'' the spokesman said.
Companies ranging from telephone service providers to computer
manufacturers and bankers are poised to introduce new services and
products including cryptography. Users of electronic mail and
computer networks can expect to see cryptography-based privacy
enhancements later this year.
The technology could allow electronic voting, electronic cash
transactions, and a range of geographically separated _ but secure _
business and social interactions. Not since the days before the
telephone could the individual claim such a level of privacy.
But law enforcement and intelligence interests fear a world in
which it would be impossible to execute a wiretap or conduct
"Secure cryptography widely available outside the United States
clearly has an impact on national security,'' said the NSA in its
13-page response to the Chronicle. "Secure cryptography within the
United States may impact law enforcement interests.''
Although Congress is now evaluating the dispute, a call by a
congressional advisory panel for an open public policy debate has not
yet been heeded, or even acknowledged, by the administration.
The FBI nearly won the fight before anyone knew that war had been
declared. Its proposal to outlaw electronic cryptography was slipped
into another bill as an amendment and nearly became law by default
last year before civil liberties watchdogs exposed the move.
"It's kind of scary really, the FBI proposal being considered as
an amendment by just a few people in the Commerce Committee without
really understanding the basis for it,'' said a congressional source,
who requested anonymity. "For them, I'm sure it seemed innocuous, but
what it represented was a fairly profound public policy position
giving the government rights to basically spy on anybody and prevent
people from stopping privacy infringements.''
This year, the FBI proposal is back in bolder, stand-alone
legislation that has created a battle line with law enforcement on
one side and the technology industry and privacy advocates on the
"It says right on its face that they want a remote government
monitoring facility'' through which agents in Virginia, for instance,
could just flip a switch to tap a conversation in Houston, said Dave
Banisar of the Washing ton office of Computer Professionals for Social
Though the bill would not change existing legal restraints on
phone-tapping, it would significantly decrease the practical
difficulty of tapping phones _ an ominous development to those who
fear official assaults on personal and corporate privacy.
And the proposed ban would defuse emerging technical protection
against those assaults.
CPSR, the point group for many issues addressing the way computers
affect peoples' lives, is helping lend focus to a cryptographic
counterinsurgency that has slowly grown in recent months to include
such heavyweights as AT&T, DEC, GTE, IBM, Lotus, Microsoft,
Southwestern Bell, and other computer and communications companies.
The proposed law would ban the use of secure cryptogra phy on any
message handled by a computerized communications network. It would
further force service providers to build access points into their
equipment through which the FBI _ and conceivably, any police officer
at any level _ could eavesdrop on any conversation without ever
leaving the comfort of headquarters.
"It's an open-ended and very broad set of provisions that says the
FBI can demand that standards be set that industry has to follow to
ensure that (the FBI) gets access,'' said a congressional source.
"Those are all code words for if they can't break in, they're going to
make (cryptography) illegal.
"This is one of the biggest domestic policy issues facing the
country. If you make the wrong decisions, it's going to have a
profound effect on privacy and security.''
The matter is being considered by the House Judiciary Committee,
chaired by Rep. Jack Brooks, D-Texas, who is writing a revision to the
Computer Security Act of 1987, the government's first pass at secure
The recent hearings on the matter produced a notable irony, when
FBI Director William Sessions was forced to justify his stance against
cryptography after giving opening remarks in which he called for
stepped-up action to combat a rising tide of industrial espionage.
Secure cryptography was designed to address such concerns.
The emergence of the international marketplace is shaping much of
the debate on cryptography. American firms say they can't compete
under current policy, and that in fact, overseas firms are allowed to
sell technology in America that American firms cannot export.
"We have decided to do all further cryptographic development
overseas,'' said Fred B. Cohen, a noted computer scientist. "This is
because if we do it here, it's against the law to export it, but if we
do it there, we can still import it and sell it here. What this seems
to say is that they can have it, but I can't sell it to them _ or in
other words _ they get the money from our research.''
A spokeswoman for the the Software Publishers Association said
that such export controls will cost $3-$5 billion in direct revenue if
left in place over the next five years. She noted the Commerce
Department estimate that each $1 billion in direct revenue supports
The NSA denied any role in limiting the power of cryptographic
schemes used by the domestic public, and said it approves 90 percent
of cryptographic products referred to NSA by the Department of State
for export licenses. The Commerce Department conducts its own reviews.
But the agency conceded that its export approval figures refer only
to products that use cryptology to authenticate a communication _ the
electronic form of a signed business document _ rather than to provide
The NSA, a Defense Department agency created by order of President
Harry Truman to intercept and decode foreign communications, employs
an army of 40,000 code-breakers. All of its work is done in secret,
and it seldom responds to questions about its activities, so a large
reserve of distrust exists in the technology community.
NSA funding is drawn from the so-called "black budget,'' which the
Defense Budget Project, a watchdog group, estimates at $16.3 billion
While the agency has always focused primarily on foreign espionage,
its massive eavesdropping operation often pulls in innocent Americans,
according to James Bamford, author of "The Puzzle Palace," a book
focusing on the NSA's activities. Significant invasions of privacy
occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, Bamford said.
Much more recently, several computer network managers have
acknowledged privately to the Chronicle that NSA has been given access
to data transmitted on their networks _ without the knowledge of
network users who may view the communications as private electronic
Electronic cryptology could block such interceptions of material
circulating on regional networks or on Internet _ the massive
international computer link.
While proponents of the new technology concede the need for
effective law enforcement, some question whether the espionage needs
of the post-Cold War world justify the government's push to limit
these electronic safeguards on privacy.
"The real challenge is to get the people who can show harm to our
national security by freeing up this technology to speak up and tell
us what this harm is,'' said John Gillmore, one of the founders of Sun
"When the privacy of millions of people who have cellular
telephones, when the integrity of our computer networks and our PCs
against viruses are up for grabs here, I think the battleground is
going to be counting up the harm and in the public policy debate
trying to strike a balance.''
But Vinton Cerf, one of the leading figures of the Internet
community, urged that those criticizing national policy maintain
"I want to ask you all to think a little bit before you totally
damn parts of the United States government,'' he said. "Before you
decide that some of the policies that in fact go against our grain and
our natural desire for openness, before you decide those are
completely wrong and unacceptable, I hope you'll give a little thought
to the people who go out there and defend us in secret and do so at
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 92 09:10:40 EDT
From: Kim Clancy
Subject: File 3--Re: Subbed to CuD
Somebody Watching? Somebody Listening?
*** Special Announcement ***
KNIGHT LIGHTNING TO SPEAK AT SURVEILLANCE EXPO '92
The Fourth Annual International Surveillance and Countersurveillance
Conference and Exposition focusing on Information Security and
Investigations Technology will take place at the Sheraton Premiere in
Tysons Corner (Vienna), Virginia on August 4-7.
The seminars are on August 7th and include Craig Neidorf (aka Knight
Lightning) presenting and discussing the following:
- Are law enforcement and computer security officials focusing their
attention on where the real crimes are being committed?
- Should security holes and other bugs be made known to the public?
- Is information property and if so, what is it worth?
Experience the case that changed the way computer crime is
investigated and prosecuted by taking a look at one of America's
most talked about computer crime prosecutions: United States v.
Exonerated former defendant Craig Neidorf will discuss the
computer "hacker" underground, Phrack newsletter, computer
security, and how it all came into play during his 7 month
victimization by some of our nation's largest telephone companies
and an overly ambitious and malicious federal prosecutor.
Neidorf will speak about his trial in 1990 and how the court
dealt with complex issues of First Amendment rights, intellectual
property, and criminal justice.
Security professionals, government employees, and all other interested
parties are invited to attend. For more information please contact:
American Technology Associates, Inc.
P.O. Box 20254
Washington, DC 20041
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 92 17:46:26 PDT
From: jwarren@AUTODESK.COM(Jim Warren)
Subject: File 4--Govt & Corp Sysops Monitoring Users & Email
Last month, I gave a morning talk to an all-day meeting of an
organization of systems administrators of mini-class, mostly-shared
systems -- most of them employed by Fortune 500 companies and
Initially titled, "Dodging Pitfalls in the Electronic Frontier," by
mutual agreement with the organizers, we re-titled it, "Government
Impacts on Privacy and Security." However, it was the same talk. :-)
It was based on information and perspectives aired during recent
California Senate Judiciary privacy hearings, and those presented at
the 1991 and 1992 conferences on Computers, Freedom & Privacy. (I
organized and chaired the first CFP and co-authored its transcripts,
available from the IEEE Computer Society Press, 714-821-8380, Order
The talk was long; the audience attentive; the questions and
discussion extensive. The attendees were clearly and actively
interested in the issues. At one point, I asked "How many have *NOT*
been asked by their management or superiors to monitor their users
and/or examine or monitor users' email."
Only about 20% held up their hands -- even though I emphasized that I
was phrasing the question in a way that those who would be proud to
hold up their hands, could to do so.
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1992 17:56:35 EDT
From: "PETER B. WHITE"
Subject: File 5--Call for papers : Digitisation
MEDIA INFORMATION AUSTRALIA
SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF DIGITISATION
MEDIA INFORMATION AUSTRALIA will be publishing a special issue
devoted to the social implications of digitisation in February
1993. Issues to be considered include the social, economic and
political implications of digitisation for:
- electronic communities
- journalism, publishing and broadcasting
- privacy and free speech
- work practices
- gender relations
- international communications
- leisure, education and training
MEDIA INFORMATION AUSTRALIA, founded by the late Professor
Henry Mayer, is a peer-reviewed journal with an international
orientation, in its sixteenth year of publication. It is
published by the Australian Film Television and Radio School.
Potential contributors should send abstracts of no more than
300 words by July 15, 1992, Commissioned papers of 3000-5000
words will be due by October 1, 1992 and they will be peer-
reviewed in the normal way.
Please send abstracts to the Issue Editor :
Dr Peter B. White,
La Trobe University,
Bundoora, Victoria 3083, Australia or
FAX: + 61 3 817 5875.
End of Computer Underground Digest #4.29
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank