Administration Eases Encryption Export Restraints

(July 18, 2000) The Clinton administration announced further relaxation of encryption export restraints on Monday, July 17. Under the new policy, U.S. producers of encryption products can export to both government and non-government end users in the European Union and several other industrial democracies without a license and without waiting for completion of a technical review.

Related Documents
Speech by John Podesta, White House Chief of Staff, 7/17/00.
White House Press Release, 7/17/00.

The new policy was announced in a speech by White House Chief of Staff John Podesta at the National Press Club in Washington DC on Monday morning, and in a statement released by the White House Press Office.

Podesta spoke on a variety of computer and electronic communications issues. He had this to say about encryption export policy:

"Our Administration has already moved to liberalize export controls on encryption, allowing more companies to export the technology to more end users. And we've done so while maintaining a framework necessary to protect our national security."

"Today we are announcing significant new updates to our export controls. Under our new policy, American companies can export any encryption product to any end user in the European Union and eight other trading partners. We're also speeding up the time-to-market, by eliminating the thirty-day waiting period when exporting encryption goods to these countries."

The press office release elaborated somewhat. It stated that "Under the new policy, U.S. companies can export under license exception (i.e., without a license) any encryption product to any end user in the 15 nations of the European Union as well as Australia, Norway, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland. Previous distinctions between government and non-government end users are removed for these countries.

The release continued: "Further, U.S. exporters will be permitted to ship their products to these nations immediately after they have submitted a commodity classification request for their product to the Department of Commerce. Exporters no longer have to wait for a completed technical review or incur a 30-day delay to ship their encryption products to customers in these nations."