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Re: State Dept Response to my second CJ request



Hal writes:
 > In the same way, it is not easy to draw a line between a book which is
 > protected by the first amendment and a program which a person can sit
 > down and run to get military grade cryptography.  But that does not
 > lead to a strong legal argument that all cryptographic software is export-
 > able, IMO.

Though I agree that the feather/pillow/stick/club scenario is
unrealistic, I disagree that it applies in this case.  The ITAR
regulations are being enforced around a situation that's essentially a
technological accident.

The difference between an exportable piece of software printed with
ink on a page and one in human-readable ASCII on a diskette is defined
solely by the state of technology.  If, tomorrow, some company began
selling a $99.95 scanner with built-in OCR translation software, then
there would really be no difference whatsoever.  To return to the
original analogy, it would put the "court" in a position of having to
declare an assault with an oaken bat illegal, but one with a hickory
bat OK.

There is a similar lack of distinction between source code and machine
code.  If I introduce a computer system whose primary interface
includes a C interpreter, then in some ways the source code *is*
machine code.

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