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Re: GAK Flap Happening at a Good Time--Journalists Read!

Black Unicorn wrote:
> On Sat, 2 Dec 1995, Jeff Weinstein wrote:
> > Black Unicorn wrote:
> > > AT&T seems to have been suitably 'incentivized'
> > > The receipt of government funding (in whatever guise) might be just as
> > > powerful in this case.
> > >
> > > To the outsider, it looks as if Netscape 'owes' the government.
> >
> >   We do owe the government.  They have paid us for Servers and Clients
> > that support Fortezza.  That is what we owe them.  The money that the
> > NSA gave us for Fortezza is not very significant compared to what we
> > are getting from commercial sources.
> Obviously it was significant enough to take.  It was also a perfect
> opportunity for Netscape to express concerns about the future of the
> technology, which is in netscape's interest.  The astute deal maker would
> be happy to work with the NSA on his own terms.  Instead, it
> would appear that Netscape is working FOR NSA on their terms.

  I wasn't aware that you were privy to the details of the contract.

> > > > We are actively lobbying in washington to get clarification of the
> > > > current regulations so that we can provide the US version via an "export
> > > > controlled" FTP or HTTP download.
> > >
> > > With which firm?  Or have you made it an in-house effort?
> >
> >   We have recently hired a government liason person to manage our policy
> > discussions with the government.  He is one of the people that will be
> > talking to congressional and white house representatives next week.
> > I don't know if we have made use of any outside lobbying firms.
> I'd be interested to know what a 'government liason person' is.  It
> sounds to me like an 'in house lobbist.'  There is an old joke in the
> beltway about in house lobbists.
> I also would like to know why you are actively lobbying for
> 'claification' rather than 'modification' of the current policy.

  We are asking for both.  We want to know what we have to do to make
our US version available for FTP download to everyone who is legally
allowed to use it, without violating the current law.  We also want
the export restrictions removed so that we can ship the same stuff
to other countries.  The former is a short term goal while the
latter will likely turn into a longer term effort.

> Netscape seems to be taking the position, "We'd love it if you'd let us
> do X, but we are happy to roll over for whatever."

  So you consider not breaking the law to be "rolling over"?  You have
the luxury of hiding behind anonymity.  We don't.

>  and  "By the way,
> what is the rule on exporting software again?"

  Doesn't everyone want to know this?  Do you think that the ITAR is clear
about the meaning of "export" in the case of FTP and the internet?

> I am impressed that some effort is being made.  I think it in the form of
> 'too little, too late.'  But hey, who am I?

  Four months ago we did not have lots of money in the bank.  People seem
to forget that this still a young and small company.  Perhaps the current
valuation is blinding obscuring this.  Now that we have more resources at our
disposal hopefully we can help make a difference.


Jeff Weinstein - Electronic Munitions Specialist
Netscape Communication Corporation
[email protected] - http://home.netscape.com/people/jsw
Any opinions expressed above are mine.