Fun_People Archive
20 Jun
S. 909 Alert - Gorton actually stands up!

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 97 12:37:23 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: S. 909 Alert - Gorton actually stands up!

Forwarded-by: Jef Jaisun <>

It's really tough to tell the players, even *with* a scorecard. With
special note to Washington State rezzies:

  ___  _     _____ ____ _____ _
 / _ \| |   | ____|  _ \_   _| | Senate Commerce Committee Approves Key-
| |_| | |   |  _| | |_) || | | | Recovery Bill.  Your Senator Gorton
|  _  | |___| |___|  _ < | | |_| stood up for your privacy and deserves a
|_| |_|_____|_____|_| \_\|_| (_) pat on the back!         June 19, 1997

           Please forward where appropriate until July 15, 1997

                        This alert brought to you by
The Voters Telecommunications Watch and The Center for Democracy & Technology
Table of Contents
      What Happened Today In Washington DC
      What You Can Do Now
            -Please contact Senator Gorton's office
      What's At Stake
      For More Information On The Encryption Policy Debate
      About This Alert

WHAT HAPPENED TODAY IN WASHINGTON DC              Thursday June 19, 1997

As a participant in the 'Adopt Your Legislator' campaign, you periodically
receive notices when your representatives in Congress need to hear from you
on an important Internet-related issue.

Now is one of those moments.

Today, over loud objections from thousands of Internet users, civil
liberties groups, and leaders in the computer and communications
industries, the Senate Commerce Committee approved S. 909 - "The Secure
Public Networks Act"  on a vote of 12 - 8.  The bill was introduced in the
dead of night just 2 days ago by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman  John
McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Bob Kerrey (D-NE).

Despite tremendous pressure from the FBI, NSA, CIA, the White House and
Chairman McCain, Senator Gorton stood up for privacy and voted AGAINST
S.  909.

Members of Congress tend to hear from their constituents only when they do
something their constituents don't like.  Now is your chance to offer some
positive reinforcement for a job well done.  This debate is far from over,
and Senator Gorton's support will be critical as the bill moves forward.

Please take a moment to read the instructions and call Senator Gorton
to say "thanks.


1. Pick up the phone and call Senator Gorton's office at

2. Ask for the staffer that handles the encryption issue

3. Tell them that you are constituent calling to thank Senator Gorton
   for taking a stand for privacy and voting against S. 909.

THIS -> I am a constituent calling to say "THANKS" for voting against
        S. 909 -- the McCain-Kerrey encryption bill -- at the markup on
        June 19.

        I know Senator Gorton took a risk by standing up for privacy
        and security on the Internet, and I want you to know that a lot of
        us back home appreciate what you have done.

        Please continue to work to defeat S. 909 as it makes it's way
        through the legislative process.


   Visit our feedback page at:


   <a href="">
   Crypto Feedback</a>

   Your feedback from the Congressional office will help our DC legislative

5. Please forward this alert to your friends and colleagues
   who live in your congressional district (do not forward after


6. Finally, relax :) This is a significant setback, but the battle is not
   over yet. By letting your Senator know how you feel, you are helping
   to educate Congress about this important issue.


The McCain-Kerrey "Secure Public Networks Act" (S. 909) approved by the
Senate Commerce Committee on June 19, represents a grave threat to privacy
and security on the Internet. Specifically, the bill:

 * All but mandates domestic key recovery and key escrow encryption to
   provide guaranteed government access to private communications and
   stored files.

 * Allows government access to sensitive key-recovery information
   without the approval of a Judge.

 * Creates 15 new crimes relating to encryption.

 * Would codify into law the 56-bit limit on encryption exports.

S. 909 would also create a ubiquitous global key-recovery infrastructure -
an untested idea which 11 of the world's leading cryptographers have said
"will result in substantial sacrifices in security and cost to the end
user. Building a secure infrastructure of the breathtaking scale and
complexity demanded by [the government's] requirements is far beyond the
experience and current competency of the field."

The full text of the bill, along with a detailed analysis, is available
online at


Complete background information, including:

* A down-to-earth explanation of why this debate is important to
  Internet users
* Analysis and background on the issue
* An analysis of the Risks of Key-Recovery by leading cryptographers
* Text of the Administration draft legislation
* Text of Congressional proposals to reform US encryption policy
* Audio transcripts and written testimony from recent Congressional
  Hearings on encryption policy reform
* And more!

Are all available at


This message was brought to you by the Center for Democracy and
Technology ( and the Voters Telecommunications Watch
(, who have joined together to create the Adopt Your
Legislator Campaign - a unique and effective way of creating dialogue
between members of Congress and their Constituents on critical
Internet-related issues.

For more information on the Adopt Your Legislator Campaign, please visit

end alert 06.19.97

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