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Re: I need exportable crypto revisited.

> > "Perry E. Metzger" <[email protected]> writes:
> > If you have hooks for arbitrary encryption, you will find it to be
> > virtually impossible to export the product.


> Has anybody who's been impaled on the stinky end of this stick been told the
> chapter and verse?

I had the experience about 5 years ago - it's not really a big deal.

I submitted a product (Integrity Toolkit - still detecting and limiting
the spread of all current viruses after 5+ years of not being updated)
for release in source form to my European distributors (who are now the
sole global source - I got out of that business).  In order to assure
that it could detect alteration (as part of its integrity shell), it
used a pretty strong cryptographic checksum - actually a message digest
that's faster than MD5 on a PC architecture, combined with an RSA system
I implemented in MuLisp (pretty fast long arithmetic for a high-level
language implementation).

To add fuel to the fire, the system came with an encryption capability
that included the ability to use an external encryption scheme of the
user's own design.  It even included source for a simplistic encryption
program that could be replaced with real encryption by simply adding the
code for the real encryption into the C source provided, recompiling,
and running.

I submitted it to state who sent it to the NSA who called me a few
weeks later (pretty fast by government standards to be honest) and
asked me some questions.  I answered as honestly as I could ...

***	The RSA was built into the system and, although it could be
extracted and used for encryption, as shipped, it was only used for
authentication.  It literally throws away one of the keys during key
generation so that it is truly a one-way trap door.  It would take a
substantial effort by a knowledgeable programmer to convert it into a
workable RSA for encrypting large files, and as implemented, it is only
good for authentication.

***	The inbuilt encryption schemes are relatively easily broken and
are designed only to prevent automated attack by viruses that try to forge
checksums and other such things.

***	The message digest facility is pretty good, but it can only be
used for the authentication process, so it is useless as an encryption

***	The external encryption hook includes no worthwhile encryption
scheme, but it can easily be converted for this use if you have your own
encryption technology.

They responded that as far as they were concerned, I could go ahead and
ship it oversees, sent me a letter to that effect (which I have in the
files somewhere just in case), and off it went.  All further development
of the encryption side was done oversees from that point forward to keep
me from having to go through ITAR again.

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