While the government is attempting to keep up with technological developments and to react to this with rules and regulations, the civil rights have come under severe pressure.

Ban on Cryptography

In March of 1994, a legislation on cryptography was leaked out. The government wants to restrict cryptography in order to maintain the capability of tapping all possible communications channels. Cryptography will only be permitted to companies who register their encryption keys with the government. This new law was critised heavily in the press. The law would breach privacy, limit technological developments and be impossible to apply. The next article will delve deeper into the backgrounds of cryptography. The Bangemann report to the European Commission is clear on the cryptography issue:
An answer given at a national level to this and to the hacking issue will inevitably prove to be insufficient because communications reach beyond national frontiers and because the principles of the internal market prohibit measures such as import bans on decoding equipment.
The legislation is now being rewritten under pressure from the industry. A. Patijn, council advisor for the Minister of Justice, wrote an article in which he explains possible angles of approach. Even though encryption is essential for a secure transport over a future digital highway, the government sees cryptography in the National Action Plan as a problem.

In the meantime, cryptography become more and more widespread.


A number of BBS's in Italy have been confiscated because they were to have offered illegal software. A number of system operators of a BBS in the USA have been convicted for distributing "obscene pictures". Many references to legal information can be found in: