Fun_People Archive
21 Apr
Libertarian Party opposes Digital Telephony and Clipper

Date: Thu, 21 Apr 94 01:05:35 PDT
To: Fun_People
Subject: Libertarian Party opposes Digital Telephony and Clipper

[I guess this won't come as a surprise exactly... -psl]

From: Libertarian Party Headquarters <>
Subject: LP Press Release about Digital Telephony Act and Clipper

1528 Pennsylvania Avenue SE
Washington DC 20003

For immediate release: April 18, 1994

For additional information:
Bill Winter, Director of Communications
        (202) 543-1988

Libertarian Party Announces Opposition to Digital Telephony Act

        Calling it a "serious infringement of civil liberties and a gross 
violation of property rights," the Libertarian Party National Committee 
unanimously voted to oppose the Digital Telephony and Communications Act of 

        At their quarterly meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, the governing 
body of America's third-largest political party charged that "the Digital 
Telephony Act would make furnishing the FBI with easy wiretapping capability 
the overriding priority for designers of telephone equipment and related 

        "It is a lie to call this legislation a 'Privacy Improvement Act,'" 
said Bill Evers, the National Committee member from California who sponsored 
the resolution. 

        The Digital Telephony Act, noted the resolution, "requires telephone, 
cable television, and computer network companies to ensure that the government
can conduct surveillance while private communication is going on. It requires 
the installation of surveillance-facilitating software in telephone switching 
equipment to expose personal information - such as telephone-calling patterns,
credit card purchases, banking records, and medical records - to the view of 
the government."

        "Such personal information should be the private property of either 
the company that assembles it or the individual to whom it pertains," said 

        Libertarians also oppose the Digital Telephony Act because it "would 
require a fundamental re-engineering of the communications infrastructure at 
great expense to American taxpayers, and to the owners of private 
communications systems," said Evers.

        The Libertarian National Committee also unanimously voted to oppose 
the National Security Agency's Escrowed Encryption Standard - the so-called 
Clipper Chip system - or any "government policies promoting or requiring 
specific encryption methods for civilian use." The party also urged the 
"repeal of the U.S. ban on export abroad of Clipper-free encryption devices 
produced by American companies."

        "Government-mandated encryption standards will foster indiscriminate 
surveillance of private communications by the government," charged Evers. 

        The resolution said "the Clinton Administration plans to induce 
American manufacturers to install government-readable encryption devices in 
every telephone, fax machine, and computer modem made in the United States."

        "The Clinton Administration is explicitly denying that the American 
people have the right to communicate in private," said Evers. By contrast, he 
said, "The Libertarian Party has long upheld the civil liberties of the 
American citizen."

        Approximately 120 Libertarians serve in elected and appointed office 
around the country, including four State Representatives in New Hampshire and 
two mayors in California. The Libertarian Party platform calls for vigorous 
defense of the Bill of Rights, free enterprise, civil liberties, free trade, 
and private charity. 

        #          #          #

The Libertarian Party                America's third largest political party
1528 Pennsylvania Avenue SE          (202) 543-1988 
Washington DC 20003		     Internet: 
***Send email or call 1-800-682-1776 for free information package by mail***  

[=] © 1994 Peter Langston []