Clipper Chip

An encryption chip designed under the auspices of the U.S. government. The government’s idea was to enforce use of this chip in all devices that might use encryption, including computers, modems, telephones, and televisions. The government would control the encryption algorithm, thereby giving it the ability to decrypt any messages it recovered.

The Goal of Clipper Chip

The purported goal of this plan was to enable the U.S. government to carry out surveillance on enemies of the state even if they used encryption to protect their messages. However, the Clipper chip created a fierce backlash from both public interest organizations and the computer industry in general. The government eventually retracted its original plan but has since promoted two other plans called Clipper 2 and Clipper 3, respectively.

The Clipper 3 plan allows the use of any encryption technology but stipulates that government law enforcement agencies be able to recover any keys exported out of the country.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

Top Articles

Huge List Of Texting and Online Chat Abbreviations

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

How To Create A Desktop Shortcut To A Website

This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Creating a desktop...

The History Of Windows Operating Systems

Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems. We look at the history of Microsoft's Windows operating systems (Windows OS) from 1985 to present...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

  By Vangie Beal Hotmail is one of the first public webmail services that can be accessed from any web browser. Prior to Hotmail and its...

Supply Chain Definition &...

A supply chain is a network between an organization and its suppliers to...

Relational Database Definition &...

A relational database stores and connects data in tables and columns, emphasizing the...

Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL)...

What is COBOL? COBOL stands for Common Business-Oriented Language. It is a 60-year-old programming...