Industry Group Plans Ad Campaign on Encryption

(July 23, 1998)  Americans for Computer Privacy, an industry based pro encryption group, announced at a Washington press conference on Wednesday the details of a multimedia advertising campaign focused on building public support for legislation protecting use and export of strong encryption products.  The grass roots effort to influence Congress will include 30-second television spots, one-page print ads and an online component.

Transcript of First TV Ad

Wife: Hon, do we have encryption software on our computer?
Husband: Yeah, that makes it safe to do the bills on here. Encryption locks our private information.
Wife: Well according to this, Washington wants our keys. Access to any information that's protected by encryption.
Husband: ..computers, email, data files..
Wife: And information other people have stored.
Husband: ..medical records, credit reports..
Wife: Should we trust Washington bureaucrats with the key to our private lives?
Narrator: Protect your privacy, call or logon today.

The TV ads were shown at the conference and may be viewed at the ACP website.  One ad bears a similarity to the successful "Harry and Louise" ads which were used to build opposition to the Clinton health care program several years ago.

"Our messages are straightforward and convey the concerns of American consumers," stated ACP Executive Director Ed Gillespie. "The ads draw attention to the flaws in current encryption policies which threaten the security of our nation's infrastructure and put our technological leadership at risk. They also point out the threat to privacy posed by an FBI-backed proposal that would require Americans to turn over encryption 'keys' to government-approved third parties."

Several legislators also attended the conference, including SAFE Act sponsors  Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Rep. Sam Gejdenson (D-CT), and Rep. Rick White (R-WA), as well as E-Privacy sponsors Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT).

Transcript of Second TV Ad

Today's world depends on complex information systems... our "electronic infrastructure."
And it's increasingly vulnerable to attack.
But Washington is restricting the encryption technology that protects these systems...
Restrictions that make us vulnerable to criminals and terrorists.
Narrator: Tell Washington to reform encryption policy today.


Related Stories

EFF Cracks 56 Bit DES in 3 Days, 7/20/98.
Burns Says Encryption Bill To Be Considered This Session, 6/17/98.
Industry Leaders Meet with Justice Officials, 6/10/98.

Industry Leaders to Meet With Freeh on Encryption, 6/2/98.
Compromise Encryption Bill Introduced in Senate, 5/14/98.
Freeh Warns of Encryption Use, 4/23/98.
Secretary Daley Condemns Encryption Policy, 4/16/98.
Democrats Write Clinton on Encryption, 4/6/98.
Senate Holds Hearing on Encryption, 3/17/98.
ACP Brings Together Strange Bedfellows, 3/16/98.
Americans for Computer Privacy Organizes, 3/4/98.