The GOP Takes On Encryption

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A few years ago, Ed Gillespie was busy orchestrating the Republican takeover of Congress as the G.O.P.'s top spinmeister. Now the man behind the Contract with America is shifting to high tech as he battles a new foe: a plan to ban software capable of encoding messages so securely that police can't crack them. A law proposed by the FBI would mandate an electronic peephole in all encryption programs so that government agents can read your files. The FBI claims this is necessary to protect against criminals. But Silicon Valley chiefs see this as a threat, and are equipping Gillespie with a multimillion-dollar lobbying and media budget. Joining him to woo Democrats is lobbyist Jack Quinn, former counsel to Bill Clinton and ex-chief of staff to Al Gore.