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Senator Changes Mind on Government Backdoor to Encryption Technology

In a 180 degree change of heart, Senator Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire) announced on October 16 he will no longer seek to require government backdoor keys to encryption technology.

Shortly after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Senator Gregg in a statement on the Senate floor called for a global ban on all data-scrambling technology without government backdoor keys for surveillance purposes. He later stated that he was drafting legislation to give law enforcement more tools to unscramble messages to prevent future terrorist attacks.

Senator Gregg’s comments were the result of widespread rumors that the terrorists of September 11 could have used the encryption technology known as Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) in planning the attack. Those rumors have yet to be confirmed.

After protests from several cryptologists and academics, it appears that Senator Gregg has changed his mind.

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