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Re: Restrictions on Munitions _Imports_

Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--said:
> There is a United States Munitions List for imports that is
> administered by the Treasury Department, but cryptographic devices and
> software are not included on that list.

I agree with Peter.  I looked this up at one point.

The government has considered trying to impose import controls on
crypto, like they've considered every other option they could think
of.  The question is what it would buy them except more trouble from
the public.  NSA can't sustain a claim that it would help them, since
they aren't supposed to be spying on Americans anyway.  But in
Clipper-II, NSA risks effective export controls to advance FBI
wiretapping interests.  Now that NSA is in fully naked in bed with the
FBI, they could jointly claim some governmental interest in killing
off domestic privacy.  But that's what would land them in trouble with
the public.

I really think they would have done better to have just shut up about
crypto and not pushed the issue.  The more they tighten the screws,
the more agitated and educated the public gets.  For every Clipper
chip that has sold to a non-governmental party, ten Cypherpunks or
'punk sympathyzers have risen up and started writing code,
investigating, talking to their friends, publishing articles in the
press, and filing lawsuits.

Ten years ago it was pretty lonely to be a cryptographer.  Most of us
wouldn't be on this mailing list -- the list itself would probably not
exist -- if the government had just quietly let the export criteria
advance, year after year, and had let the quaint academics play with
their toys.  But they tried alternating between stonewalling us and
forcing crap down our throats.  The result has been that the public
now *cares* about crypto policy.  And the public will get what it
wants, in the long run, no matter what the impact on the privileges of
the current crop of bureaucrats.