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false spin on French Crypto news (was Re: Encouraging News - France)

Tim May <[email protected]> writes:
> I'm extremely skeptical that France will truly liberalize crypto use by its
> citizen-units. Rather, I expect they will just be falling in line with the
> OECD/Wasenaar/New World Order "trusted third party" key recovery approach
> that the United States, Britain, and other European and Asian countries are
> behind-the-scenes adopting.

I think it's been mis-reported.

My understanding of the situation in France is that the "crypto use"
regulations have changed, or are changing at this moment.

The change is from "no crypto without a permit" to "crypto provided it
is GAKked".

So, you guessed right.

> >>The government is shortly to publish an official decree which would for
> >>the first time allow easy access to and use of software which encodes
> >>sensitive information in order to protect it from unauthorised
> >>interception.
> I'll bet 1000 francs that this will not mean citizens can use PGP openly.
> (I know some Frenchies who are already using PGP, of course.)

Depends on your definition of openly.  Jerome Thorel, at the time a
French free-lance journalist, interviewed the head of SCSSI, he asked
"can individuals use PGP?" and the answer was "if you asked us for
permission we'd say no, but if you use it we won't do anything about
it".  Jerome had this revelvation as his .sig for a while.

Jerome Thorel uses PGP.  I usually encrypt email to him.

> One wag put it this way: "Any Frenchman may apply for a permit to use
> strong cryptography. The same way any Frenchman may apply for a permit for
> an Exocet missile."

That ties up with Jeromes interview with the SCSSI person.

<A HREF="http://www.dcs.ex.ac.uk/~aba/rsa/print%20pack%22C*%22,split/%5cD+/,%60echo%20%2216iII*o%[email protected]%7b$/=$z%3b%5b(pop,pop,unpack%22H*%22,%3c%3e)%5d%7d%5cEsMsKsN0%5blN*1lK%5bd2%25Sa2/d0%3cX+d*lMLa%5e*lN%250%5ddsXx++lMlN/dsM0%3cJ%5ddsJxp%22%7cdc%60">Have <I>you</I> exported RSA today?</A>