For more than three years, the White House and the U.S. computer industry have sat locked, eyeball to eyeball, in a seemingly intractable face-off over who will control the secret codes that protect our most sensitive communications. The government claimed to be working to protect us from nuke-carrying terrorists; the computer industry said it was championing the individual's right to privacy. Neither was telling the whole truth.

Last week, in a concession to Silicon Valley, the Administration blinked--or perhaps it merely winked. Fittingly, in the arcane world of code making and breaking, it's difficult to ferret out who's doing what to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!