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Re: S. 1284 To Amend (C) Act

>>  S. 1284,  s1201:  "No person shall import, manufacture or distribute
>>  any device, product, or component incorporated into a device or
>>  product, or offer or perform any service, the primary purpose or

>IANAL, but I thought these types of laws were already tested and deemed  
>unconstitutional in cases involving video-tape copying boxes, dual 
>cassette dubbing decks, SCMS 'scrubbers', etc...

I think the large gray area here is the phrase primary purpose.  The 
primary purpose of a device is in the users mind only.  Videotape copying 
of noncopyright materials is done on a vast scale now due to home 
camcorders.  But even if only a few people had camcorders they should be 
able to purchase equipment that can be used legally.

Introducing the concept of "primary purpose" makes law abiding citizens 
suffer because some people are breaking the law.  If an item has any 
legal purpose it must be allowed.

This trend to take technology that *can* be used to commit crimes out of
the hands of citizen units is growing.  We see it with crypto export
controls and recently with the PA law and Federal law making it a crime to
posess devices and software to reprogram cell phones. 

When this doesn't make a dent in the number of these crimes I predict we 
will see licensing of technologies such as eeprom programmers, spectrum 
analyzers, frequency counters, and yes of course strong crypto.

      Weld Pond   -  [email protected]   -   http://www.l0pht.com/~weld
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