Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

53 Federal Communications Law Journal 289 (2001)


Encryption, understood on a basic level as the process of scrambling information to disguise its content, has been a topic of intense debate over the past decade because of Internet growth and well-founded concerns about online security. The encryption debate centers on striking an appropriate balance between national security concerns and the potential prosperity of the high-tech industry. The Clinton Administration played an important role in relaxing U.S. encryption policy. This Note argues that the dramatic shift in encryption policy resulted from a recognition of how the world will be in the digital age, and that strong, unregulated encryption technology is vital to the continued growth of the Internet and related industries. This Note also encourages public awareness and understanding of encryption legislation, to ensure that policymakers address the very real privacy and security concerns presented by the explosion of e-commerce and Internet use.