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Sound And Fury Over Data Encryption


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SOUND AND FURY OVER DATA ENCRYPTION

Angry U.S. software publishers will try to persuade Congress to overturn the Clinton Administration's Feb. 4 decision to continue tough controls on the export of encryption technology. The CEOs of eight major software companies had lobbied Vice-President Al Gore with a Feb. 2 letter aimed at winning the right to freely export programs that use the popular Data Encryption Standard to protect the privacy of files or communications. But, yielding to the pleas of national-security and law-enforcement officials, the White House decided to back Clipper, a system that uses a special computer chip to encrypt data--and permits federal agencies to read the encoded messages.EDITED BY KEITH H. HAMMONDS


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