October 21st, 2003, 03:45 PM
The Battle to Control Encryption
One has to wonder what cause could unite such diverse groups as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Rifle Association (NRA) and conservative Christian group the Eagle Forum. They are all lending their support and backing to a bill currently making its way through the House of Representatives. The Security and Freedom through Encryption Act (a.k.a SAFE), championed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va, is on a collision course with a different encryption bill being backed by the FBI and the Whitehouse known as the Secure Public Networks Act. The Secure Public Networks Act would require that the master key to any encrypted communication be placed in a "vault" so to speak where the government or law enforcement can get to it if need be. Essentially, the government doesn't want you to be able to encrypt things so that they can't read it.
For more info see this MSNBC.com article: Odd Coalition Rallies for Encryption Bill