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Re: Exports and criminalizing crypto



On Thu, 25 Sep 1997, John Smith wrote:

> >From: Adam Back <[email protected]>
> >John Smith <[email protected]> writes:
> >> Getting rid of these export restrictions would produce an explosion
> >> of Cypherpunk style crypto software.  It is a big win.
> >
> >I disagree.
> >
> >Cypherpunk (freeware) crypto isn't hardly hindered at all by EAR
> >export nonsense.  

At some point it isn't hindered.  But the process is complex since if the
export can be traced, the exporter can be harrassed.  How much crypto did
Phil Zimmerman write while he was under investigation? And why didn't a
pgp 5.0 come out from outside of the US since the 2.6.2 base was already
there?  It is in no one's interest to become the victim of a governmental
investigation (even Bernstein sued *before* publishing).  All the free
crypto "leaks" out because of the impossibility of control.  But it is a
hinderance since I can't simply place code on my web page and point
everyone at it.

As to SAFE, whether it will pass and in what form, I can't be sure.  I
also can't be sure that a domestic crypto ban would have been introduced
without SAFE being there (though I suspect the FBI already had something
- there was no anti-CALEA bill before CALEA).  As far as interpretations
go, the courts often tend to the bizzare, so I can't be sure what they
would uphold.  Taking the most pessimistic view would have predicted
Bernstein would have lost.

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