STATEMENT OF PATRICK LEAHY ON
                              July 21, 1994
     I have read the July 20th letter from the Vice President about the 
Administration's current thinking on Clipper Chip and, to my mind, it 
represents no change in policy.  In fact, when this letter was sent, I 
would be surprised if the Administration even thought it was news.
     The letter makes clear to me that the Administration continues to 
embrace key escrow encryption technology, and stands behind Clipper Chip 
as a federal standard for telephone communications.  The official 
standard makes clear that this standard applies to any communications 
over telephone lines.  Those communications include not only voice, but 
also low-speed computer data and facsimile messages.  The Administration 
is working on encryption technologies for higher-speed transmissions, 
such as for computer networks and video networks.
     The Vice President says that they want to work with industry to 
design a key escrow system that could be implemented not just in 
hardware, but also in software, that would be voluntary, exportable and 
not rely upon a classified encoding formula.  The Administration said all 
this last February when the federal standard was approved.  Yet, when 
Administration witnesses were questioned about the progress they had made 
in this effort at my Judiciary subcommittee hearing in early May, I 
learned they had held only a few meetings.
     Last week, the Appropriations Committee accepted strong Report 
language I suggested on Clipper Chip.  The Attorney General is directed 
to report to Congress within four months on ten areas of concern about 
Clipper Chip.
     I agree with the Vice President that balancing economic and privacy 
needs with law enforcement and national security is not always an easy 
task.  But we can do better than Clipper Chip.

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