The argument is as old as encryption. On one side, you have those in
authority who, for the good of the state, want to be able to read or
listen to anyone's communications. On the other, you have civil
libertarians who insist that everyone has a right to privacy against
This conflict exploded into the Internet's consciousness in 1994 when Vice President Al Gore and FBI director Louis Freeh pushed for the use of the Clipper chip and the passage of the Digital Telephony bill. Most of the public furor was directed at the chip, but Clipper and the Digital Telephony bill work hand in glove with each other.