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Re: crypto export from the UK

Jon Baber <[email protected]> writes:
> sameer <[email protected]> wrote:
> > 	Could people in the UK please tell me what the crypto export
> > laws are like there? I know someone who wrote some really great crypto
> > code in the UK but isn't willing to distribute it because of crypto
> > export laws... I was under the impression that it was legal to export
> > crypto from the UK.
> I believe that the laws regarding the export of crypto from the UK are
> very similar to the ITAR regs in the US.

I thought they were markedly different!

I always understood there were NO restrictions on crypto export,
import or use to western countries.  There used to be COCOM agreements
which said that you should get approval to send commercially produced
crypto to some blacklisted countries (Iraq, etc).  I also read that
the COCOM restrictions did not claim to apply to free software.

Anyway, I read that the COCOM agreement has expired, so none of this
applies anymore, even.

There are a number of surveys around, and the above is my
understanding from reading those.

If you have any thing else I should be reading I'd like to see it.

> However our Government seems to take the view that putting crypto
> software on the net is not exporting it, the exporting is done
> whenever anyone from an export restricted country downloads the
> software and is done by them rather than by the person who made the
> software available.

I also have heard this.

> Strong crypto is therefore openly available from a number of places in
> this country, particually sable.ox.ac.uk at the university of Oxford.


> Of course IANAL and the government may change it's mind about the
> interpretation of these things but I would expect that your
> acquaintance would be perfectly safe distributing his software via
> sable (the ftp site (and its predicessor) have been distributing
> crypto software for a number of years and I have not heard of any
> problems).

I think he would be safe emailing it, putting it on the WWW, or
posting it to USENET.  There are no selective access restrictions on
*any* crypto ftp/http sites that I know of in the UK (like various
ones in the US which make a sho of enforcing the export restriction by
not allowing export to non-US domain names.)