LEGI-SLATE News Service staff
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is the sponsor of the Security and Freedom Through Encryption (SAFE) Act [H.R. 695], which would relax U.S. export controls on some encryption technology while preserving American citizens' ability to use encryption of any strength.
Goodlatte first began exploring the issue of encryption as a possible economic development tool that could benefit his constituents. The widespread availability of strong encryption means that rural entrepreneurs in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley can have the same advantages as their urban competitors, he explains.
With hardware and software to encode their communications and financial transactions including securing customers' credit card numbers Goodlatte says he believes that business owners in his district will be able to tap into markets all over the globe by running their companies on the Internet.
Goodlatte cut his political teeth in Virginia's 6th District as former Rep. Caldwell Butler's district office manager from 1977 to 1979. He began his own private law practice in 1979, then joined the firm of Bird, Kinder and Huffman as a partner in 1981. He worked at the firm until his election to Congress in 1992.