An Open Letter to the Internet Engineering Task Force


November 8, 1999

IETF Secretariat
c/o Corporation for National Research Initiatives
1895 Preston White Drive, Suite 100
Reston, VA, USA 20191-5434
+1 703 620 9071 (fax)

Dear IETF Members,

We are writing to urge the IETF not to adopt new protocols or modify existing protocols to facilitate eavesdropping. Based on our expertise in the fields of computer security, cryptography, law, and policy, we believe that such a development would harm network security, result in more illegal activities, diminish users' privacy, stifle innovation, and impose significant costs on developers of communications. At the same time, it is likely that Internet surveillance protocols would provide little or no real benefit for law enforcement.

In conclusion, we urge the IETF to reject the development and inclusion of these protocols.


Austin Hill
Zero-Knowledge Systems

Steven Aftergood
Federation of American Scientists

Yaman Akdeniz
Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK)

David Banisar
Attorney and author, The Electronic Privacy Papers

Steve Bellovin
AT&T Labs- Research

Matt Blaze
AT&T Labs - Research

Caspar Bowden
Foundation for Information Policy Research

Jean Camp
Harvard University

Jason Catlett
Junkbusters Inc.

Roger Clarke
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd

Lance Cottrell
Anonymizer Inc.

Rick Crawford
UC Davis Computer Security Group

Professor George Davida
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Alan Davidson
Center for Democracy and Technology

Simon Davies
Privacy International

Lisa S. Dean
Free Congress Foundation

Whitfield Diffie
Sun Microsystems

Brian K. Durham

Dave Farber
University of Pennsylvania

Clinton Fein
ApolloMedia Corporation

Leonard N. Foner
MIT Media Lab

Michael Froomkin
University of Miami School of Law

Emily Frye esq.
iWitness, Inc.

John Gilmore
co-founder, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Brian R. Gladman
Information Security Consultant

Ellen Hanratty
Medicine Hawk Publications

Roger Harrison
Independent security consultant

Mark W. Heaphy
Wiggin & Dana

Paul Hoffman
Internet Mail Consortium and VPN Consortium

Gus Hosein
London School of Economics

Eric Hughes
Signet Assurance Company


Joichi Ito
Neoteny, Inc.

Jerry Kang
UCLA School of Law

Phil Karn

Susan Landau
Sun Microsystems Inc.

Ben Laurie - Apache Software Foundation,
OpenSSL Group and A.L. Digital Ltd

Bill Lemieux
Technical Alchemy

Lawrence Lessig
Harvard Law School

Ralph Mackiewicz

Russell McOrmond
FLORA Community WEB

William Hugh Murray, CISSP

Peter Neumann

Grover G. Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

Richard Payne

Dinah PoKempner
Human Rights Watch

Jean-Jacques Quisquater
UCL Crypto Group and Math RiZK

Donald Ramsbottom LL.B, BA (Hons).
RAMSBOTTOM & Co. Solicitors

Michael Richardson
Sandelman Software Works

Ronald L. Rivest

Marc Rotenberg
Electronic Privacy Information Center

Pamela Samuelson, Professor of
Information Management and of Law, UC Berkeley

William L. Schrader
Chairman, CEO and Founder
PSINet Inc.

Bruce Schneier
Counterpane Systems

Barbara Simons
Association for Computing Machinery

Tim Skorick
Technical Security Contractor

Richard M. Smith
Independent security consultant

David Sobel
Electronic Privacy Information Center

Shari Steele
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Barry Steinhardt
American Civil Liberties Union

David Wagner
University of California, Berkeley

Coralee Whitcomb
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

Philip R. Zimmermann
Network Associates

Affiliations for identification purposes only.


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Page last updated November 11, 1999.