Ethics of Encryption

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Ethics of Encryption

Effects of Encryption on the Constitution of the United States of America

In the rapidly developing field of computer science, there is no more controversial issue than encryption. Encryption has become a highly contested issue with the broad use of global networks including the Internet. As more and more sensitive documents are being placed on computer networks, and trusted information is being sent from computer to computer throughout the world, the need for encryption has never been greater. However, the effects of encryption on our lifestyle and the government's role in encryption has been (and will continue to be) debated for years to come.

The United States (U.S.) Constitution was drafted to prescribe to the American people, government's powers and limitations. In the form of the Bill of Rights, the people's rights were added to the Constitution to make the document complete and to ensure that the U.S. government does not hold the power to oppress the citizens of this country. The right to privacy, though never specifically mentioned in the Constitution, has been interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court from the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments as well as many other passages in the document. These three amendments are the focus of the debate over encryption. Does the government's plan to limit encryption have an adverse effect on the citizens' rights to free speech, protection from unlawful searches and seizures, or self-incrimination?

There are many terms which have been introduced by the field of encryption. Each of these terms are need to understand this discussion. Plaintext is the original document to be transmitted or stored on a computer system. Ciphertext is the encrypted document. ...

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... Case for 'Clipper'." Technology Review. July 1995: 48-55.

Dorman, Lester et al. "Digital Privacy." December 1995.

Froomkin, A. Michael. "The Metaphor is the Key: Cryptography, The Clipper Chip, and the Constitution." December 1995.

Henick, Ben. "The Constitution of the United States."" December 1995.

Licquia, Jeff. "PGP Frequently Asked Questions." December 1995.

Litterio, Francis. "Statement of Rep. Jack Brooks (D-TX)." December 1995.

Morton, Bill. "The Beginner's Guide to Pretty Good Privacy." December 1995.