Security Chief Who Shuns Publicity | NY TIMES | OCT 30, 1975

Gen. Lew Allen, Who Lifted Veil on Security Agency, Is Dead at 84 | NY TIMES | JAN 8, 2010

JPL Mourns Passing of Former Director Lew Allen Jr. | NASA | JAN 5, 2010


General Lew Allen | US Air Force

Mixed Signals In The Debate Over Encryption Technology | CNN | 1998

While most agree that encryption is a key element in the growth of electronic commerce, a long-running debate has raged involving the high-tech industry, government officials and lawmakers over how far the government should go in restricting the technology’s use. High-tech companies have been pushing to export much stronger encryption products than currently allowed.

The Clinton administration has been reluctant to relax export controls on encryption. It is worried that easing controls may hinder law enforcement and intelligence gathering when the technology is used to block access to communications or data.

But high-tech companies argue that restrictions are doing little to control the spread of strong encryption. Instead, they argue that these restrictions are making it increasingly difficult for U.S. companies to compete with foreign competitors.

Just how serious the issue is becoming was apparent June 9 when top law enforcement officials met with a half-dozen executives of high-tech companies to discuss both sides of the issue.

Among the participants in the meeting, hosted by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., at her office, were FBI Director Louis J. Freeh and Attorney General Janet Reno, as well as Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, Scott McNealy, chief executive of Sun Microsystems Inc., and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.

The FBI’s Case

The White House’s policy has been driven by fears of law enforcement and national security officials that loosening export controls would lead to the widespread use of unbreakable encryption by criminals and terrorists who want to hide their illegal activities.

As the use of encryption becomes more commonplace among criminals, law enforcement officials are concerned that their ability to use wiretaps and other legal means to gain valuable evidence will be thwarted if communications or stored data is coded with unbreakable encryption.

While still relatively small, the number of FBI cases involving computerized evidence where encryption was used increased from 3 percent to 7 percent in the last several years. And FBI officials expect it to continue rising.

Freeh took the debate one step further in 1997 by calling for restrictions on the use of encryption products within the United States — comments that sent waves of panic throughout the technology industry. (1997 CQ Weekly, p. 2140)

The FBI has been “trying to find a balance in which we can still do our job and do our job in the future as this proliferates. We hope strong encryption proliferates from a business part and from a privacy part — but how can we do it in such a way . . . that doesn’t [hurt] us,” said FBI deputy Assistant Director Edward L. Allen in an interview.

The FBI has been pushing to require manufacturers to ensure that law enforcement has some way to gain access to a decrypted version of stored data or communications.

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Signalscape | Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Edward L. Allen – Chairman of the Board
Director Edward L. Allen was the FBI’s Deputy Assistant Director for Investigative Technologies. He provided policy and procedural guidance on electronic surveillance, physical surveillance, and other investigative technology issues and was responsible for maintaining working relationships with domestic and international senior executives with regards to law enforcement technology issues. Experienced in the formulation and execution of legislation and regulations associated with technology policy, Mr. Allen represented the FBI and law enforcement on interagency, White House, and intelligence community committees, working groups and boards. Mr. Allen retired from the FBI in 2001.
Jhan K. Vannatta – President and CEO
Signalscape™ President and CEO Jhan K. Vannatta has served in his current role since 2001, and is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of the company. Prior to his appointment, he served as the Director of Engineering Services. In this capacity, he was responsible for development of Signalscape’s services contracts for the intelligence and law enforcement markets and the company’s first multi-million dollar contract. Before joining Signalscape, Mr. Vannatta served as a Principal Investigator for SPARTA’s Applied Signal Processing Directorate. In this position, he was responsible for the development of software and hardware services for the intelligence communities. Prior to joining SPARTA, Mr, Vannatta held senior engineering positions at Lockheed Martin where he led several intelligence community programs at both CONUS and OCONUS locations.
Barbara A. McNamara – Director
Director Barbara McNamara held the position of NSA Deputy Director and subsequently became the first woman to assume the assignment of Special United States Liaison Officer (London, UK). Here, she was responsible to the Director of the NSA for representing the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and the NSA in their relationships with United Kingdom authorities. Ms. McNamara retired from the NSA in 2003.
Kerry E. Haynes – Director
Director Kerry Haynes was the FBI’s Executive Assistant Director, Science and Technology Branch with responsibility for oversight of the Special Technologies and Application Office, and the Criminal Justice Information Services, Laboratory, and Operational Technology Divisions. Prior to this, Mr. Haynes served in various positions with the CIA and FBI, including Assistant Director, Operational Technology Division. In this capacity he was responsible for providing the vision, leadership, and direction to ensure the operational availability of state-of-the-art technologies, support and expertise necessary to enable and enhance the FBI’s investigative efforts, as well as ensuring the application of forensics services related to the collection processing and exploitation of computer, audio and visual media in the Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism, Criminal Investigative and Cyber programs. Mr. Haynes retired from federal service in 2007.