News Encryption Proponents Brace For New Threats In Name Of Fighting Terrorism

    Date31 Mar 2003
    CategoryCryptography
    3420
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Cheating on income taxes or neglecting to pay sales taxes on online shopping could get you five extra years in prison if the government succeeds in restricting data-scrambling technology, encryption-rights advocates fear. . . Cheating on income taxes or neglecting to pay sales taxes on online shopping could get you five extra years in prison if the government succeeds in restricting data-scrambling technology, encryption-rights advocates fear.

    Such a measure, they worry, might also discourage human rights workers in, say, Sri Lanka from encrypting the names and addresses of their confidants, in case they fall into the wrong hands.

    Draft legislation circulating in the Justice Department would extend prison sentences for scrambling data in the commission of a crime, something encryption advocates fear would achieve little in catching terrorists -- and only hurt legitimate uses of cryptography.

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