Press Release from Sen. McCain (R-AZ).
Re: intent to file encryption bill.
Date: March 31, 1999.
Source: Office of Sen. John McCain.
||U.S. SENATOR ARIZONA
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31,1999
|CONTACT: PIA PIALORSI 202-224-2670
NANCY IVES 202-224-7130
McCAIN TO INTRODUCE ENCRYPTION BILL
WASHINGTON, D.C. --Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Committee on Commerce,
Science, and Transportation, today announced he will introduce legislation as soon as
Congress reconvenes to encourage electronic commerce by facilitating the accessibility and
export of encryption technology. The PROTECT Act's purpose is to promote electronic
commerce that is in keeping with our national security.
"This bill protects our national security and law enforcement interests while
maintaining the United States leadership role in information technology," McCain
said. "We must update our laws to reflect the realities of the information age,"
The bill would do the following;
- Direct the National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) to complete the
establishment of an advanced encryption standard by January 1, 2002.
- Allow for exportation of encryption of key lengths of up to 64 bits.
- Permit the exportation of non-defense encryption (above 64 bits) to responsible entities
and governments of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
- Allow for liberalization of export controls for encryption by creating an Encryption
Export Advisory Board to review applications for exemption of encryption of over 64 bits
and give recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce. The board would be made up of 12
members: the Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, seven individuals
appointed by the President (one from the National Security Agency, one from the Central
Intelligence Agency, one from the Office of the President, and four representatives from
the private sector who have experience in information technology), four representatives
appointed by Congress (one by the Majority Leader of the Senate, one by the Minority
Leader of the Senate, one by the Speaker of the House, and one by the Minority Leader of
- Give the Secretary of Commerce 15 days to respond to recommendations. If he rejects a
recommended exemption, his decision is subject to judicial review.
- Reaffirm existing presidential authority to veto a recommended exemption for national
security purposes, and to establish terrorist and embargo controls.
- Authorize increased funding to law enforcement and national security agencies to upgrade
facilities and intelligence.
- Give the Secretary of Commerce the authority to prohibit the exportation of particular
encryption products to an individual or organization in a foreign country identified by
Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) and McCain have been working to reach a compromise on this
issue for many months. Burns is co-sponsoring this bill along with Senators Ron Wyden
(D-OR) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT).
# # #
241 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510
Contact: Nancy Ives 202 224-2235 TDD 202 224-7132