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Unformatted text preview: U.S. government’s Escrowed Encryption Standard (EES) . VLSI Technologies, Inc. manufactures the chip, and Mykotronx, Inc. programs it. Initially, the Clipper chip will be available in the AT&ampT Model 3600 Telephone Security Device (see Section 24.18). The chip implements the Skipjack encryption algorithm (see Section 13.12), an NSA-designed classified secret-key encryption algorithm, in OFB only. The most controversial aspect of the Clipper chip, and the entire EES, is the key-escrow protocol (see Section 4.14). Each chip has a special key, not needed for messages. This key is used to encrypt a copy of each user’s message key. As part of the synchronization process, the sending Clipper chip generates and sends a Law Enforcement Access Field (LEAF) to the receiving Clipper chip. The LEAF contains a copy of the current session key, encrypted with a special key (called the unit key). This allows a government eavesdropper to recover the session key, and then recover the plaintext of the conversation. According to the director of NIST : A “key-escrow” system is envisioned that would ensure that the “Clipper Chip” is used to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans. Each device containing the chip will have two unique “keys, ” numbers that will be needed by authorized government agencies to decode messages encoded by the device. When the device is manufactured, the two keys would be deposited separately in two “key-escrow” databases established by the attorney general. Access to these keys would be limited to government officials with legal authorization to conduct a wiretap. The government also wants to encourage the sale of telephones with these devices abroad; no one knows what might happen to those key-escrow databases. Previous Table of Contents Next Products | Contact Us | About Us | Privacy | Ad Info | Home Use of this site is subject to certain Terms & Conditions, Copyright © 1996-2000 EarthWeb Inc. All rights reserved...
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- Fall '10