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IAB and IESG Statement on Cryptographic Technology and the Internet (RFC1984)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004263D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-14
Document File: 5 page(s) / 8K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

IAB: AUTHOR [+1]

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC1984: DOI

Abstract

The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), the bodies which oversee architecture and standards for the Internet, are concerned by the need for increased protection of international commercial transactions on the Internet, and by the need to offer all Internet users an adequate degree of privacy. This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 32% of the total text.

Network Working Group IAB Request for Comments: 1984 IESG Category: Informational August 1996

IAB and IESG Statement on Cryptographic Technology and the Internet

Status of This Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright

(C) Internet Society 1996. Reproduction or translation of the complete document, but not of extracts, including this notice, is freely permitted.

July 24, 1996

The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), the bodies which oversee architecture and standards for the Internet, are concerned by the need for increased protection of international commercial transactions on the Internet, and by the need to offer all Internet users an adequate degree of privacy.

Security mechanisms being developed in the Internet Engineering Task Force to meet these needs require and depend on the international use of adequate cryptographic technology. Ready access to such technology is therefore a key factor in the future growth of the Internet as a motor for international commerce and communication.

The IAB and IESG are therefore disturbed to note that various governments have actual or proposed policies on access to cryptographic technology that either:

(a) impose restrictions by implementing export controls; and/or

(b) restrict commercial and private users to weak and inadequate mechanisms such as short cryptographic keys; and/or

(c) mandate that private decryption keys should be in the hands of the government or of some other third party; and/or

(d) prohibit the use of cryptology entirely, or permit it only to specially authorized organizations.

IAB & IESG Informational [Page 1]

RFC 1984 Cryptographic Technology August 1996

We believe that such policies are against the interests of consumers and the business community, are largely irrelevant to issues of military security, and provide only a marginal or illusory benefit to law enforcement agencies, as discussed below.

The IAB and IESG would like to encourage policies that allow ready access to uniform strong cryptographic technology for all Internet users in all countries.

The IAB and IESG claim:

The Internet is becoming the predominant vehicle for electronic commerce and information exchange. It is essential that the support structure for these activities can be trusted.

Encryption is not a secret technology monopolized by any one country, such that export controls can hope to contain its deployment. Any hobbyist can program a PC to do powerful encryption. Many algorithms are well documented, some with source code available in textbooks.

Export controls on encryption place companies in that country at a competitive disadvantage. Their competitors from countries without export restrictions can sell systems whose only design constraint is being secure, and easy to use.

Usage controls on encryption will also place companies...

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