Obama administration’s encryption proposal and the Clipper chip

William Safire’s 1994 response to the Clipper chip works as a smart and poignant response to the Obama administration’s reported proposal to weaken encryption so “secure” communications can be wiretapped. The Safire piece is too good and too short to excerpt.

The story of the “crypto wars” and the Clipper chip in the 80s and 90s is a really interesting one, and worth looking over. Steven Levy’s Crypto is a great book that addresses it, and it’s a fun and informative read. If you’re more into primary sources, articles about the Clipper’s introduction, problematic development, and ultimate defeat are all worth reading, and should be required for anybody thinking about the current proposal.

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