Encryption: Impact on Law Enforcement   [open pdf - 141KB]

Encryption is extremely beneficial when used legitimately to protect commercially sensitive information and communications. The law enforcement community, both domestically and abroad, is extremely concerned about the serious threat posed by the proliferation and use of robust encryption products that do not allow for the immediate, lawful access to the plaintext of encrypted, criminally-related communications and electronically stored data in accordance with strict legal requirements and procedures. The potential use of such commercially-available encryption products by a vast array of criminals and terrorists to conceal their criminal communications and information poses an extremely serious threat to public safety and national security. Law enforcement fully supports a balanced encryption policy that satisfies both the commercial needs of industry for robust encryption while at the same time satisfying law enforcement's public safety and national security needs. Robust, commercially available encryption products, which include some type of recoverable capability that allows for immediate, lawful access to plaintext is clearly the best method to achieve the goals of both industry and law enforcement.

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Internet Archive: http://web.archive.org/web/20000815210233/http://www.fbi.gov/library/encrypt/en60399.pdf
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