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Date: 1998-09-17

Hype: US/Regierung "lockert" Crypto Export

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q/depesche 98.9.17/2
updating 98.9.16/2

Hype: US/Regierung "lockert" Crypto Export

Pünktlich zum Start der Wassenaar Verhandlungen in Wien hat
die US/Regierung ihre Exportrestriktionen für crypto
Produkte "gelockert": schleissige 56 bit DES sind jetzt

Der DES Cracker der Electronic Frontier Foundation, alles
andere als eine ultra/hitech Lösung, was Hard & Software
anbetrifft, crackt diese Schlüssel binnen 60 Stunden mit
einem Aufwand von unter 500 Dollar pro Stück.

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Ted Bridis
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Clinton administration relaxed some
restrictions Wednesday on the export of powerful
data-scrambling technology -- a decision that could help
Americans who want to guarantee the privacy of their e-mail
and other electronic information.

The White House said U.S. companies can begin selling
high-tech tools overseas that use the so-called 56-bit Data
Encryption Standard or its equivalent, which has an
unlocking key with 72 quadrillion possible combinations.
The export limits do not directly affect Americans, who are
legally free to use encryption technology of any strength.
But U.S. companies are reluctant to develop one version of
their technology for domestic use and a weaker overseas
version, so they typically sell only the most powerful type
that's legal for export, even to Americans.

Vice President Al Gore called the new rule's balance between
privacy and not helping criminals ``probably one of the
single-most difficult and complex issues that you can
possibly imagine.''
Privacy advocates, though, derided Wednesday's announcement
as a modest step, noting that a non-profit group of
researchers demonstrated earlier this summer it can
unscramble a 56-bit coded message in just days.
Barry Steinhardt, president of the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, a San Francisco-based civil liberties group,
said: ``We assume this is done to throw a bone to industry
at a time when the administration needs all the friends it
can get.''
``But it's half a step, and it continues to rely on
dangerous technologies,'' he said.
In June, the Electronic Frontier Foundation used a
custom-built computer worth less than $250,000 to crack a
56-bit encrypted message in less than three days to win an
industry contest. The EFF published a book describing
exactly how to build a replica of its code-breaking

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edited by Harkank
published on: 1998-09-17
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