Summary report on the OECD ad hoc meeting of experts on cryptography

[14 February 1996] Stewart Baker, former General Counsel of the National Security Agency and now of the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson, has written a detailed and readable account of a recent international meeting of cryptography experts and policymakers. The complete, copyrighted report is available at: [] The first paragraph of the report's summary reads as follows: "The OECD's ad hoc meeting of experts on cryptography was the brainchild of U.S. policymakers. Export controls on encryption have increasingly been attacked as unworkable by U.S. software and hardware producers, who see a major market for security on the global information infrastructure. This need, they argue, will be met by foreign producers if U.S. export controls are kept in place. Many companies in the software business have also attacked the latest Administration proposal allowing the export of strong encryption only if it incorporates some form of key escrow. These companies question the international demand for key escrow."