Toward a National Encryption Strategy   [open pdf - 11MB]

The 1998 current administration is struggling with the failures and challenges of advocating policy for encryption technology uses, both domestically and for export, because it neglected to develop a vision of what encryption uses meant to legitimate users, focusing instead upon threats raised by those who exploit encryption technology and how that impacted U.S. interests. It appears now that no adequate compromises can be found within the administration's departments. A National Encryption Strategy can provide some relief. In the study of national security, Strategy (with the big S') precedes policy, which in turn leads to implementation or an implementing strategy (with the little s'). This concept and the framework that go with it can provide a guide to solving the current challenges regarding encryption technology controls. In this paper, the author has attempted to report the current dilemma, identify the participants and their views, analyze the issues, and propose such a Strategy. If successful, this approach can provide the administration a fresh perspective on the issues and a means of selecting compatible policies for the variety of areas that are affected by encryption technology.

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