1993 Congressional Hearings
Intelligence and Security

                              ORAL TESTIMONY


                             STEPHEN T. WALKER


                       COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
                       U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             OCTOBER 12, 1993

Good Afternoon.  I am pleased to testify today about the negative
impact that U.S. export control regulations are having on one of
the few industries where the U.S. remains dominant worldwide, the
information system software industry.

My name is Steve Walker.  I am the founder and President of
Trusted Information Systems (TIS), Inc., a ten year old small
business with offices around the U.S. and in England,
specializing in research, product development, and consulting in
information security.  I am also here representing the Software
Publishers Association (SPA) and its members on this most
important topic.

The SPA is the principal trade association of the personal
computer software industry.  Since 1984, it has grown to over
1,000 members, representing the leading publishers in the
business, consumer, and education software markets.

My background includes twenty two years with the Department of
Defense, at the National Security Agency, the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency, and the Office of the Secretary of
Defense.  My last job with the Government was as Director of
Information Systems for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Communications, Command, Control, and Intelligence (C3I).

I have been a member of the Computer System Security and Privacy
Advisory Board (CSSPAB), chartered by the Computer Security Act
of 1987, throughout its many deliberations on cryptography.

My written testimony describes the national dilemma between, on
the one hand, the interests of law enforcement and national
security to limit the availability of good quality cryptography
so they can continue to listen in to our adversaries and, on the
other hand, the rapidly growing interests worldwide of
individuals and businesses to protect their sensitive

The tension between these forces has been building for years and
is reaching crisis stage.  But the arguments on both sides have
been mostly gloomy predictions of disaster:  from the Government
if we were to open up exports of cryptography, and from industry
if we don't.

I am very pleased today to be able present some concrete evidence
that may begin to move this debate from a war of words to the
careful analysis of factual information that is so badly needed.

SPA Survey of Available Cryptography

In May 1993, the SPA chartered a survey of the worldwide
availability of good quality cryptography.  The findings to date
indicate that cryptography is available now to essentially anyone
who wants it.


Within just five months of part-time effort by a few dedicated
people, we have confirmed product literature and in a few cases 
actual software for 200 foreign products, 123 using the Data 
Encryption Standard algorithm, the official U.S. and defacto 
worldwide encryption standard.  We have leads that we are confirming
on another 64 foreign products, giving a total of 264 products 
developed and available outside the U.S.

We have found manufacturers of cryptographic products in 21
foreign countries and distributors of cryptographic products in
33 countries throughout the world.


Most of the major countries of the western world are represented

In the course of the survey, we have also confirmed the
availability of 241 cryptographic products in the U.S., 142 using
DES, and we are attempting to confirm 47 others.  Worldwide, we
have identified 552 products overall.  The names and countries of
origin of these products are listed in Attachment 1 of my

We are continuing to find more products, manufacturers, and
distributors on a daily basis.  We believe we have just scratched
the surface.

We have assembled a set of notebooks that contain the product
descriptions of all confirmed products in our database.  We also
have some of the sources of the information we have used to find
these products.  In addition, we have several of the products
that we have purchased to confirm that good quality cryptography
is indeed available worldwide.

Frequently Heard Arguments

There are a series of arguments that are frequently heard from
those who wish to justify continued export controls.

The first one is, "Cryptographic products are not available
outside the U.S. so U.S. software and hardware developers are not
hurt by export controls."  We believe our survey results have
already proven that statement to be patently false!

A second argument is, "Even if cryptographic products are
available, they cannot be purchased worldwide."  Our survey
results show that this is also patently false!

We have found 366 companies in 32 foreign countries and the U.S.
that are manufacturing, marketing, and/or distributing
cryptographic products, most on a worldwide basis.  The names of
these companies are listed in Attachment 2 of my testimony.

A third argument frequently heard is, "Even if the products are
available and can be purchased easily, those sold in other parts
of the world are somehow inferior to the products available in
the U.S."  To the contrary, the results of our survey show that
foreign products are just as good and in many cases better than
many U.S. products.

We purchased products from several sources throughout the world.
We ordered DES-based PC file encryption programs for shipment to
the U.S. from:

     o    Algorithmic Research Limited, of Israel
     o    Sophos, Ltd, of the United Kingdom
     o    Cryptomathic A/S, of Denmark
     o    CE Infosys Gmbh, of Germany
     o    uti-maco, of Germany

We also obtained a similar product from:

     o    Elias Ltd., of Moscow, Russia (distributed through
          EngRus Software International, UK.  This product uses
          GOST, the Russian equivalent of DES.)

All the products we ordered were shipped to us in the U.S. within
a few days.  The German products were sent to us directly from
their U.S. distributors in Virginia and Connecticut,
respectively.  Our experience has been that if there is export
approval paperwork required by the governments of these
companies, it is minimal and results in essentially immediate
approval for shipping to friendly countries.

The products we obtained from these manufacturers and
distributors were in every case first rate implementations of
DES.  To better understand if good products were being shipped to
the U.S. and inferior products being sold overseas, we ordered
the same Sophos product that we already had from their Bahrain
distributor.  We were told by the distributor that everything he
sells is shipped directly from the manufacturer in England.

The uti-maco U.S. distributor in Connecticut shipped us his
German made product within a day and without needing any further
approval from the German parent company or the German government.
Apparently, they have some form of blanket approval for sale to
anyone here.  I asked if that was true elsewhere in the world and
the representative told me, while he dealt only in the U.S., he
believed that this was the case.

We have no indication that products being shipped to the U.S. or
the rest of the world from foreign manufacturers or distributors
are in any way inferior to products available in the U.S.

In many cases the products have proven to be of superior quality,
easily comparable with U.S. products.

Others Use Different Rules

But our survey results also point to a much more ominous finding!

Apparently the controls imposed by the U.S. Government on export
of cryptographic products from the U.S. are far more restrictive
than those imposed by most other countries including our major
allies.  The effect of this most unfortunate situation is to
cripple U.S. industry while our friends overseas are essentially
free to export as they wish.

The U.S. imposes very strict rules on the export of cryptographic
products.  In general, applications for the export of products
that use DES will be denied even to friendly countries unless
they are for financial uses or for U.S. subsidiaries.  We have
been told repeatedly by the U.S. Government that other countries
such as the United Kingdom and Germany have the same export
restrictions that the U.S. does.

But our experiences with these purchases of cryptographic
products show a very different picture.

Companies in the UK, Germany, Denmark, and Israel can freely ship
DES products to the U.S. and presumably elsewhere in the world
with no more then a few days of government export control delay,
if any.

Based on our experiences to date, I conjecture that these
countries are using CoCom (the Coordinating Committee of western
nations and Japan) rules for determining where to allow exports.


This chart illustrates in red the CoCom proscribed countries plus
a set of terrorist countries. All of the countries in Green are
apparently available for export with minimal restrictions.

If this conjecture is true, it explains why these countries can
readily ship to most countries in the free world.  I speculate
that companies in these countries may be required to fill out
export forms but if they can show that the destination country is
not proscribed by CoCom or their local equivalent, they can ship
without waiting for further government approval.

Every experience we have had with the survey supports this
supposition.  If only this were true in the U.S.!

Whether my theory is correct or not, our experience with these
purchases has demonstrated conclusively that U.S. business is at
a severe disadvantage in attempting to sell products to the world
market.  If our competitors overseas can routinely ship to most
places in the world within days and we must go though time
consuming and onerous procedures with the most likely outcome
being denial of the export request, we might as well not even
try.  And that is exactly what many U.S. companies have decided.

And please be certain to understand that we are not talking about
a few isolated products involving encryption.  More and more we
are talking about major information processing applications like
databases, electronic mail packages, and integrated software
systems that must use cryptography to provide even the most basic
level of security being demanded by multinational companies.

AT&T Products

We also have a collection of products manufactured by or for AT&T
for sale in the U.S. and in some cases overseas.  These include
telephone security devices, facsimile security devices, and data
communications devices.  Some of these devices are intended to be
made with the Administration's Clipper Chip whenever it becomes
available, but all of them are available NOW with either DES or
proprietary encryption algorithms.  Some of these devices are
manufactured in Switzerland.  They can be imported into the U.S.
for sale, but they cannot be exported elsewhere.  Indeed, if they
break they cannot be returned to the manufacturer for repair.


We now have a brief demonstration of just how available
cryptography is and how easily it can be applied to protect
sensitive information anywhere in the world.

We have here two commercially available computer workstations
running commercially available software and connected by a
conventional network (or dialup line).  They are communicating
audio information (in this case from a tape recorder) much as is
done daily by voice conferences on the Internet.  The delay you
hear is being emphasized for purposes of the demonstration.
Everything being shown here is commercially available today
throughout the world.


We can now add a software version of DES from Australia to both
the sender and receiver stations to add good quality encryption
to the communications.


Now if Dave wanted to keep Pete from listening in to his music,
he could change the key used for the encryption and demonstrate
what an interceptor might hear.

Next we reset the key so we can communicate again.


Now we can demonstrate this using a Swedish DES implementation.
There is no difference in the result.

There is no rocket science involved here.  Anyone with an
elementary knowledge of modern computer workstations can do what
we have done.  All of the software is available essentially
anywhere in the world.  We must not kid ourselves about this
being difficult or unavailable!

PEM Experiences

My written testimony lists many of the experiences of U.S.
companies that the SPA has collected.  I would like to discuss
briefly my company's experiences with one of our products,
Privacy Enhanced Mail.  PEM is a software product that works with
electronic mail systems to add encryption services for secrecy
and authentication.  PEM is capable of using a wide variety of
encryption algorithms but in its Internet version uses DES and
therefore cannot be exported except to Canada.

We have been discussing PEM with the British government for
several years.  We have a product that could have already been in
wide use there, satisfying their unclassified electronic mail
protection needs, except that we cannot export it to them.  When
the SPA successfully negotiated an agreement with NSA last year
allowing the export of encryption products with short key lengths
(40 bits or less), we approached the British with an exportable
version of PEM.  Since DES (with its 56-bit key length, 65,000
times stronger than our 40-bit exportable version) is already
widely available in the UK, the British politely informed us that
they did not want to consider such a weak product.

To attempt to satisfy our British customers, we have recently
hired British scientists to implement an independent version of
PEM using the published international specifications and UK
versions of DES.  The impact on TIS involves the cost of
reimplementing something we already have, plus the loss to the
U.S. of sales of approx 10,000 systems, roughly $2.5 million over
several years.  This represents a revenue impact to my company of
between 15 and 25% of our total revenue in any given year.

But the ironic part of this is that because of the apparent
differences between the UK export laws and those imposed by the
U.S., we may be able to import the UK PEM implementation for sale
in the U.S. and thus eliminate the need for our U.S. PEM
operation all together.

Unfortunately, these experiences are not unique to my company.
Similar and all too often worse stories abound throughout the


And why is all this happening?  U.S. law enforcement and national
security interests are trying to retain the ability to intercept
the communications of our adversaries in the face of accelerating
technology shifts that will make it ever easier for those who
wish to protect their communications to do so.

I do not wish to deny the Government the right, indeed the
responsibility, to try as hard as they can to maintain that
ability.  But we must recognize the total magnitude of this
problem.  We must find a way to balance the costs to the citizens
of the United States of losing its vital industrial secrets to
foreign espionage and its dominant position in the information
processing industry to foreign competition versus the inevitable
reduction of our interception capabilities, when foreign
availability of cryptography is already so great.

Calls for Action

The National Research Council has warned of this problem in four
recent reports (see Attachment 3 of my testimony).  The Computer
System Security and Privacy Advisory Board has called for a
national review of this dilemma for nearly two years (see
Attachment 4 of my Testimony).  The President said, on September
16, that "...we cannot repeal the force that is driving the world
economy together.  We can run away from it and get beat by it, or
we can embrace it, do what we have to do and win with it."

On September 30, the President announced a dramatic relaxation of
the export controls on all types of high performance computer
products.  Is it not time to look at the exports of cryptographic
products, too?  If we don't, the National Information
Infrastructure will very likely get its security protection from
foreign sources.

We need to recognize that the U.S. public has a right to a
reasonable level of protection for its sensitive information.
Enabling that right through allowing the export of good quality
cryptography such as DES will not harm the intelligence gathering
capabilities of this country any more than the worldwide
proliferation of cryptography already has.

I strongly urge this Subcommittee to press vigorously for
legislation to allow the export of good quality cryptography so
that our computer industry will build it into their products and
our citizens can use it to protect their vital sensitive