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Zimmermann charges dropped?



Apologies if this has been discussed and I somehow missed it. I just
got back from Monte Carlo last night and have briefly scanned the 500+
accumulated messages, not seeing this item mentioned.

Drew Taubman (sp?), the new Executive Director of the EFF, told me
that in recent days the grand jury meeting in the PRZ case did in fact
decide to go forward with the indictment.

However, says Drew, the judge in the case dismissed the charges after
looking at them, apparently in about an hour or so. He cited the
absence of relevant law in the case (as I understand it, the argument
being that there is no law against what PRZ did, i.e., "make code
available" in such a way that _others_ might then access it and
perhaps then illegally export it (assuming such export might be later
proved to be illegal).

Drew went on to tell me that the judge said there would need to be a
relevant law on this, and that Senator Leahy and his staff (recall
their involvement in the Digital Telephony Bill) are already at work
drafting such legislation.

I haven't seen mention of this, so I thought I'd mention it here. I
could of course try to get confirmation first from Phil, but he is
notoriously hard to reach in e-mail, ironically, and this seems
sufficiently important to mention to the list.

And if you can't trust the EFF, who _can_ you trust? (Don't answer
that.)

--Tim May

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