The Clipper Chip - Science and Ethics

As society becomes more and more dependant on information and the transfer of that information through digital media, our society also becomes more and more dependant on the safety and reliablility of that information.

In April of 1993, the U.S. government proposed a virtually unbreakable technique of encryption inplemented with a chip they have named "The Clipper Chip". The catch - the US government would have the key to unlock any information encrypted with the Clipper chip.

A fierce debate has erupted around the implementation of the Clipper chip. The government maintains that they must be able to read any transmission to prevent crime. Privacy groups vehemently oppose the proposal, asserting the government is trying to get one step closer to an Orwellian "Big Brother" control on all information in the U.S.

What follows is our analysis of the Clipper Chip debate, complete with a mini-debate of our own.

Below is a picture showing the internet connections in the United States. Click on the picture to get a film clip describing the explosive growth of the internet in the last few years.

Move on to our Report!