Commerce Department Revises Encryption Regulations

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Reflecting a technical adjustment to its most recent set of regulations governing the export of advanced encryption technology, the United States Commerce Department has announced it will now allow the sale of 64-bit encryption products to overseas companies. Previously, the department's Bureau of Export Administration (BXA)had set the allowable algorithm standard at 56-bits in a report that relesed was released in December of 1998.

This latest change in the department's policy brings encryption specifications levels more in line with the Wassenaar Arrangement, an international agreement endorsed by 33 countries on the sale and use of encrypted technology apparatuses.

In published reports, Sue Hofer, spokesperson for the Commerce Department said "our regulations that we published in late December were too far along to consider any additions…but we knew we would be making a technical correction… "

Some U.S. companies are currently selling technology above-64 bits to overseas customers, however the are required to participate in a one-time review with Commerce officials prior to deploying such products for international clients.

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