Dorothy Denning changes Escrow position

Bill Stewart stewarts at
Fri Aug 1 00:46:48 PDT 1997

There was an article in today's San Jose Mercury News that
Dorothy Denning, the leading academic supporter of the Administration's
anti-crypto stance, has backed off from that position.
She's put out a paper along with William Baugh of SAIC (!) which 
among other things includes a survey of law enforcement officers
on how much they've encountered crypto and how much difference it's made,
and the answer has been that it hasn't made much difference --
of the few criminals who use crypto, some use wimpy algorithms,
some are careless with their password handling, some get fingered by
stool pigeons, and some mainly use their crypto for information
not relevant to the case they're being investigated for.
She's now taking a much less certain, more neutral position.
Way to go, Dorothy!

It's especially important because Dr. Denning was the main independent
supporter of encryption limitations, and has a lot of reputation invested
in it, so changing her position is a big step.  The FBI has a vested
interest - without Communists to chase around, Director Freeh is off 
chasing drug dealers in the name of "national security".  And the 
industrial support for key escrow has primarily been from companies that 
get to export their products in return for adding it, though there have 
been a few firms like TIS that have developed it for its own sake.

#			Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, +1-415-442-2215 stewarts at
# You can get PGP outside the US at
#   (If this is a mailing list or news, please Cc: me on replies.  Thanks.)

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