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Cyber rights luminary Phil Zimmermann has joined the advisory council of influential UK privacy watchdogs the Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR).

Zimmermann, best known as the creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) who earned widespread acclaim for facing downs threats from the Feds when he exported his famous encryption program, said he was joining FIPR to further trans-Atlantic co-operation on civil liberties.

"I've always felt that efforts to preserve civil liberties must be pressed on both sides of the pond to be effective," said Zimmermann.

"I think our own government in the US found it harder to hang on to the crypto export controls after we made progress in the French and British domestic policies. Now we face tougher challenges, and we must face them together."

Zimmermann joins the FIPR at a time when cryptography continues at the centre of many issues of technology policy, ranging from the powers sought by law enforcement agencies since 9/11 to force telecomms companies to retain customer data, to the debates about copyright and digital rights management.

Emerging technologies such as the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance (TCPA) and Palladium are "creating fresh tensions between privacy and corporate interests", notes the FIPR, whose former head, Casper Bowden is now privacy and security manager at Microsoft.

No word yet on any likelihood of any head to head debate between Zimmermann and Bowden on Palladium but you just know it's going to happen and, when it does, be sure to save us a ringside seat. ®

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