Ad campaign Set To Challenge U.S. Encryption Rules

A private-sector coalition opposed to strict U.S. export controls on data- scrambling technology plans an advertising campaign to press for change, according to a Reuters report.

The campaign, which will feature commercials on cable networks and advertisements in print and on the Internet, comes as Republican congressional leaders have shown an increasing desire to relax export controls through legislation. Spending details were not available.

The controls sharply limit the ability of U.S. companies to sell products to foreign customers that include encryption.

The coalition, Americans for Computer Privacy, plans to kick off the ad campaign Wednesday at a Capitol Hill news conference, Reuters said.

A spokeswoman for the group said the ad campaign did not signal the end of negotiations with the administration. “It doesn’t represent that,” said spokeswoman Sue Richards. “We will always continue to pursue all avenues.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to decide soon whether to uphold a lower court ruling that struck down the export rules as unconstitutional.

Americans for Computer Privacy includes companies such as Microsoft, Intel and Sun Microsystems Inc. along with organizations like the National Association of Manufacturers and various telephone companies.

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