[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Legality of the ITARs

I'm not an expert on ITARs, but I'll pass along something I heard about a
year or year and a half ago.

At 4:58 AM 8/18/95, Lucky Green wrote:

>In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Jim
>Gillogly) wrote:
>>> "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.
>>That's my understanding also (as I told him in e-mail) but I haven't found
>>any legal justification for it.
>You migh as well stop looking, because there isn't any. The brownshirts
>have long ago decided that the law means what they say it does. Welcome to

Lawyers within NSA are apparently of the same opinion, that the ITARs would
not stand up to a court test.

Carl Nicolai, the inventor of the "PhasorFone," whose case was described in
Bamford's 1982 "The Puzzle Palace," once called me up to tell me that he
and his lawyer were allowed to view, but not copy, files on the ITAR issue.
Some memos they came across from Agency lawyers warned that any ITAR court
case would likely see the ITARs overturned.

(I passed this information on to Phil Karn a year or so ago, as he was
starting his suit to get Schneier's stuff approved for export. I later saw
a note from Lee Tien and/or John Gilmore saying they had gotten similar
documents under an FOIA they did. Maybe these were the same documents Carl
Nicolai saw, maybe not.)

On the other hand, these comments came from an era of judicial liberalism,
not the current era in which the Supremes uphold random searches of bus
passengers, of high school students, etc., when "good reasons exist." It
may be that the current Supremes would uphold the ITARs.

Wait until furrin terrorists are found to be using exported crypto for some
nefarious plot...

--Tim May

Timothy C. May            | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected] (Got net?)  | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-728-0152              | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Corralitos, CA            | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^756839    | Public Key: PGP and MailSafe available.
"National borders are just speed bumps on the information superhighway."