Patrice Riemens on Thu, 17 Dec 1998 19:27:28 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> [ZKS Press Release] 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of HumanRights a Reminder that Privacy must be Preserved (fwd)

Zero-Knowledge Systems Press Release,

50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights a Reminder that
Privacy must be Preserved. 

Web site launched to allow citizens of the world to protest their loss of

December 9, 1998 (Montreal)--On the 50th anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), as well as in protest of the recent
changes to cryptography policies worldwide, Zero-Knowledge Systems is
spearheading a campaign to encourage governments to loosen newly imposed
cryptography restrictions. This campaign, seen on the web site, enables citizens of the world to express their
outrage and concern at the increasing loss of their privacy. 

Article 12 of the UDHR states,

		"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with
his privacy, family home, or correspondence...."

Yet, decades later, we are witnessing the unprecedented collection of
personal information and intrusions into the lives of many.  Internet
users in particular, confront multiple privacy violations while online. 
Over 80% of Internet users polled consider privacy be their primary

The best defense for online privacy is to use strong cryptography, which
allows Internet users to preserve the privacy of their communications and
personal information. 

On December 3, 1998, the Internet community experienced one of the
strongest setbacks to their privacy in recent years.  The 33 member
countries of the Wassenaar Arrangement agreed for the first time to impose
export restrictions on mass-market cryptography products. 

Until December 3rd, the majority of the Wassenaar signatories did not
impose export controls over mass-market products that protect personal
security and privacy through cryptography.  The United States Department
of Commerce Under-Secretary has taken credit for convincing all other
Wassenaar countries to impose these added restrictions over cryptography
designed for average citizens. 

Barry Steinhardt, President of the Electronic Frontier Foundation believes
"The US government has strong-armed the rest of the industrialized world
into adopting a policy that will make us less secure and more vulnerable
to electronic terrorism.  Our critical national and international
infrastructures need to be protected by strong encryption.  Weak
encryption with back doors that will be exploited not just by governments,
but by information pirates, will leave us at greater risk." 

"It is not too late to reverse course," continues Steinhardt.  "Wassenaar
allows, but does not require, the other national governments to follow the
US' foolish lead." 

"Cryptography is the key to preserving privacy for Internet users," 
explains Austin Hill, President of Zero-Knowledge Systems.  "By limiting
the accessibility of cryptography, you are limiting people's ability to
protect themselves.  Now, more than ever, we have the ability to influence
the future of the electronic world; we must ensure that it has the same
the basic rights and protections that the UDHR promised us fifty years

Hill continues, "We hope that Internet users will be proactive in
protesting this human rights infringement to their governments. The web site provides such a space, where users can learn about
the issues and send their government representatives a message expressing
their dissatisfaction with the tightening of cryptography controls." 

The web site provides a form that citizens can fill out and
have faxed or emailed to their respective government representatives. It
also provides information and articles on the recently imposed
cryptography restrictions. 


The Electronic Frontier Foundation is one of the leading civil liberties
organizations devoted to ensuring that the Internet remains the world's
first truly global vehicle for free speech, and that the privacy and
security of all on-line communication is preserved.  Founded in 1990 as a
nonprofit, public interest organization, EFF is based in San Francisco,
California and maintains an extensive archive of information on free
speech, privacy, and encryption policy at 

Zero-Knowledge Systems Inc.,, is a Canadian based
software developer dedicated to providing cryptographic solutions for the
privacy and security of Internet users.  They will be launching their
first product called Freedom(tm) in February 1999. 

For more information, contact:

Nicola Dourambeis				Alex Fowler,
Marketing Associate				Director of Public Affairs
Zero-Knowledge Systems Inc.			Electronic Frontier
Tel. (514) 286-2636 ext. 222			Tel. (415) 436-9333 ext. 103
Email.				Email.

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