clipper chip



  • noun
    (written as Clipper chip)
    an electronic component, e.g. an integrated circuit, or chip, that was designed in accordance with the instructions of the US Government to provide a data encryption feature for computers, Internet traffic, telephones, and television programmes. In the original scheme the US Government held the master key to the chip and so could decrypt and read any encrypted messages. This angered many groups concerned with freedom of speech and the US Government has since redesigned the original scheme and suggested an alternative.

Media Studies

  • noun a data-encryption chip proposed in the mid-1990s allowing communication by computer that it was implanted in to be recorded and >‘spied on’. It was thought invasive and potentially insecure and was never developed.