New guidelines for cryptography policy may deter developments of new products and services, according to some US industry bodies.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) adopted the new guidelines at the end of March.
The Business and Advisory Committee, an industry group that participated in negotiating the guidelines, says that some US companies see the guidelines as potentially restrictive and harmful to business, establishing new barriers to free trade. The Committee itself disagrees with this view, saying they are a positive step.
Despite the scaremongering, legally, the guidelines are non-binding, and the OECD says they simply identify basic issues that countries should consider in drawing up cryptography policies at the national and international level. They are intended to promote the use of cryptography in developing electronic commerce through a variety of applications, and to bolster user confidence in networks, providing for data security and privacy protection.
The OECD cautions that some Member countries have implemented policies and laws on cryptography already. Rather than the possible effect of the new guidelines, OECD says it is the failure to co-ordinate national policies at the international level that could impede international trade.
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