LEEDS-Today members of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign (http://www.gilc.org) sent a statement to the technical expert representatives of the 33 Nations who are signatory to the Wassenaar Arrangement. Leeds based Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) is a member of the campaign and signed the GILC statement which calls for the removal of cryptography from the Wassenaar Arrangement.
The aim of the Wassenaar Arrangement is to prevent the build up of military capabilities that threaten regional and international security and stability. The intent of the Arrangement is to restrict the proliferation of offensive strategic weapons, but cryptography is a defensive mechanism, particularly against electronic warfare attacks. The Arrangement states that it will not impede bona fide civil transactions. But cryptographic products are vital for the continued growth of digital economies, for the development of secure electronic commerce and the protection of the privacy of citizens.
There is no sound basis within the Wassenaar Arrangement for the continuation of any export controls on cryptographic products. Such controls can only serve to increase the vulnerability of the information infrastructures on which society is increasingly dependent. Rather than hampering crime and terrorism, expansive restrictions on cryptography will create an environment in which they will flourish.
Dr Brian Gladman, Crypto Policy Co-ordinator for Cyber Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) stated that:
"The Global Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC) effort to remove cryptography export controls is timely since further developments in Internet use now depend on cryptographic products to provide the better safety and security that users need."
Mr Yaman Akdeniz, director of the organisation stated that:
"Apart from the international campaign we are now starting our own campaign at a UK level. We have to act before it is too late and we need the industry's support on this important issue."
Dr Gladman, further added that:
"The Wassenaar nations now have a duty to remove all export controls that impact on such products in order to allow the emergence of the open international market that is needed to foster their development."
Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) also released its own report on this issue entitled "Wassenaar Controls, Cyber-Crime and Information Terrorism," written by Dr Brian Gladman which concluded that "far from hampering criminal and terrorist activities, controls on civil cryptographic products are promoting the evolution of a global information infrastructure that provides many easy targets for cyber-crime and information terrorism."
Notes for the Media
This press release is available through http://www.cyber-rights.org/press/
Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) September 1998 report, "Wassenaar Controls, Cyber-Crime and Information Terrorism," is at http://www.cyber-rights.org/crypto/wassenaar.htm
Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) Cryptography pages are at http://www.cyber-rights.org/crypto/
The GILC statement "Crypto is a Defensive Tool, Not a Weapon," is at http://www.cyber-rights.org/crypto/gilc-wass.htm and the Global Internet Liberty Campaign Wassenaar page is at http://www.gilc.org/crypto/wassenaar/. The English language version of the statement is up at http://www.gilc.org/crypto/wassenaar/gilc-statement-998.htmland the German version is at http://www.gilc.org/crypto/wassenaar/gilc-statement-998-de.html.
International Crypto Campaign Home page is at http://www.efa.org.au/wassenaar/
The new home of Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) is at http://www.cyber-rights.org but until a complete move is completed, the pages will continue to be available through http://www.leeds.ac.uk/law/pgs/yaman/yaman.htm
Mr Yaman Akdeniz
Address: Centre For Criminal Justice Studies, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT.
Direct Telephone: 0498-865116, dial (44)498 865116 if you are abroad.
Fax: 0113- 2335056
E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Brian Gladman, Crypto Policy Co-ordinator for Cyber Rights
& Cyber-Liberties (UK)
Telephone: 01905 740902, dial +44 (0) 1905 740902 if you are abroad.
Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) is a non-profit civil liberties organisation founded on January 10, 1997. Its main purpose is to promote free speech and privacy on the Internet and raise public awareness of these important issues. The Web pages have been online since July 1996. Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) started to become involved with national Internet-related civil liberties issues following the release of the DTI white paper on encryption in June 1996 and the Metropolitan Police action to censor around 130 newsgroups in August 1996. Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) recently criticised the attempts of the Nottinghamshire County Council to suppress the availability of the JET Report on the Internet.
Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) covers such important issues as the regulation of child pornography on the Internet and UK Governments encryption policy. The organisation provides up-to-date information related to free speech and privacy on the Internet. Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) is a member of various action groups on the Internet and also a member of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign (see <http://www.gilc.org>) which has over 30 member organisations world wide.
In November 1997, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) launched a new report entitled, Who Watches the Watchmen, on the implications of the use and development of rating systems and filtering tools for the Internet content. The report insists that the debates on regulation of Internet-content should take place openly and with the involvement of public at large rather than at the hands of a few industry based private bodies.
In February 1998, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) produced the Global Internet Liberty Campaign member statement which criticised the possible introduction of "key escrow" or "key recovery" systems for the regulation of encryption services in the UK. The statement signed by 22 organisations world-wide concluded that "mandatory key recovery policies would make Britain a second-class nation in the Information Age."