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Media Release


Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc.

Media Release                                     15th September 1998


Electronic Frontiers Australia and other members of the Global
Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC) today issued an open statement 
calling for the removal of cryptography controls from the Wassenaar 
Arrangement.  The statement was sent to the technical expert 
representatives of the 33 Nations who are signatory to the 
Wassenaar Arrangement.  

The aim of the Wassenaar Arrangement is to prevent the build up of
military capabilities that threaten regional and international 
security and stability, by restricting the proliferation of 
offensive strategic weapons.

Cryptography is a defensive technology that scrambles computer files
and communications to protect privacy.  It protects everything from 
medical records to ATM transactions.

The Arrangement claims that it will not impede bona fide civil
transactions.  But cryptographic products are vital for the continued
growth of digital economies, for the development of secure electronic
commerce and the protection of the privacy of citizens.  

There is no sound basis within the Wassenaar Arrangement for the
continuation of any export controls on cryptographic products.
Such controls can serve only to increase the vulnerability of the
information infrastructures on which society is increasingly 
dependent.  Rather than hampering crime and terrorism, restrictions 
on cryptography will create an environment in which they will 
flourish.  Current restrictions are analogous to a law that 
prevents households from using strong locks on their doors and

Dr Brian Gladman, Cryptography Policy Coordinator for GILC member 
Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK), commented "The GILC effort to 
remove cryptography export controls is timely since further 
developments in Internet use now depend on cryptographic products 
to provide the safety and security that users need.  The Wassenaar 
nations now have a duty to remove all export controls that impact on
such products in order to allow the emergence of the open 
international market that is needed to foster their development."

The GILC member statement can be found at:


      Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc  --  http://www.efa.org.au/
      representing Internet users concerned with on-line freedoms
      Media Contacts

      Greg Taylor                 Kim Heitman          
      Phone: 07 3370 6362         Phone: 08 9458 2790 
      [email protected]          [email protected] 


What is the Wassenaar Arrangement? 

	This is a 1995 international regime to control trade
	in conventional arms and dual-use goods and technology. It
	replaced the previous COCOM regime. 33 countries are signatories,
	including most European countries, Canada, Japan, New Zealand,
	the USA and Australia.


Global Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC)

GILC International Cryptography Campaign

The Risks of Key Recovery, Key Escrow, and Trusted Third Party Encryption. A
Report by an Ad Hoc Group of Cryptographers and Computer Scientists, 1998.

Cryptography and Liberty. An International Survey of Encryption Policy.
Global Internet Liberty Campaign, 1998.

Review of policy relating to encryption technologies (Walsh Review).
Australian Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department 1996.

Cryptography's Role in Securing the Information Society. National Research
Council, USA, 1996.


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Copyright © 1998 Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc.