June 1981 | NTIA Contractor Report NTIA-CR-81-10

Impacts of Federal Policy Options for Nonmilitary Cryptography

Victor C. Walling; Donn B. Parker; Charles C. Wood

Abstract: A study accomplished by SRI International under contract with the Commerce Dept., NTIA, in support of work toward developing a U.S. policy for cryptography. It provides an analysis of the policy options based on a projection of evolving I private sector needs for privacy and security, the emerging potential for I innovative applications such as public key cryptographic systems, the influence of government constraints on exports, inventions, research and innovation, scientific advancement, and the preservation of constitutional rights. It recommends a balanced framework for U.S. policy, including minimization of existing restraints on private sector activities concerning exports and patents, government support of open research and technical standards development, and the establishment of a government mechanism for resolving conflicts between private sector and U.S. military interests.

Keywords: cryptography; public key cryptography; privacy; computer security; export controls; International Traffic in Arms Regulations; Inventions Secrecy Act; national policy on cryptography; patent secrecy; telecommunications security

To request a reprint of this report, contact:

Lilli Segre, Publications Officer
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3572

Disclaimer: Certain commercial equipment, components, and software may be identified in this report to specify adequately the technical aspects of the reported results. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nor does it imply that the equipment or software identified is necessarily the best available for the particular application or uses.

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