CCIA: “Sun’s Crypto Deal With Russian Company is Clear Evidence that U.S. Encryption Policy Will Not Work”

May 19, 1997

(Washington, DC) — “The announcement that Sun Microsystems plans to sell advanced encryption software developed by a Russian company to overseas customers is just the latest example that the Clinton Administration’s encryption policy is unworkable and will force the hand of domestic companies to seek foreign deals in order to compete,” declared Ed Black, President of the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA).

“Perhaps some in the Administration dismissed our thoughts as mere rhetoric. But, thanks to Sun’s bold move, I hope that the Administration will realize that competitive companies will not surrender marketshare to foreign companies solely because of our government’s reluctance to recognize the extent of today’s global market and advanced technology,” he said.

“As a leader in the fight for encryption reform, CCIA has advised the Administration for some time that its policy would force companies to look overseas to obtain stronger encryption — without the U.S. government’s mandatory key recovery component. And here we see that even the most sophisticated U.S. companies are going offshore to develop and buy products. Sun is one of many U.S. companies that will be forced to react to the hand that our industry has been dealt by the Administration.” Black said.

“As one of CCIA’s member companies, Sun is showing great foresight to keep its product lines on the cutting edge, and we applaud them for that. The announcement is a breakthrough for Sun, the Internet, and for consumers and users of computer software. It is bad news for the Administration’s encryption policy, for big brother, electronic terrorists and on-line thieves,” Black stated.

CCIA is an association of computer and communications industry firms, as represented by their chairmen, presidents, chief executive officers, chief operating officers and other senior executives. Small, medium and large in size, these companies represent a broad, cross-section of the industry, employing over a half million workers and generating annual revenues of nearly 200 billion dollars.

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