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Re: Web TV with 128b exported



On Tue, Oct 06, 1998 at 04:32:07PM -0500, William H. Geiger III wrote:
> In <[email protected]>, on 10/06/98 
>    at 11:08 AM, David Honig <[email protected]> said:
> 
> >http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/981005/ca_microso_1.html
> 
> >MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq:
> >MSFT - news) WebTV Networks today announced it is the first U.S. company
> >to obtain government approval to export nonkey recovery-based
> >128-bit-strength encryption for general commercial use. WebTV Networks
> >pioneered low-cost access to the Internet, e-mail, financial services and
> >electronic shopping through a television set and a standard phone line. 
> 
> >The WebTV(TM) Network service, combined with the WebTV-based Internet
> >terminals and receivers, is the first communications system permitted by
> >the U.S. government to provide strong encryption for general use by
> >non-U.S. citizens in Japan and the United Kingdom. Such strong encryption
> >allows Japanese and United Kingdom subscribers of WebTV to communicate
> >through the WebTV Network (both within national borders and
> >internationally) without fear of interception by unauthorized parties. 
> 
> I have my doubts on this. I find it highly unlikely that the FEDs would
> approve this without some form of GAK built in even if it is not in the
> form of "key recovery".

It's probably a lot closer to the "private doorbell" scenario.  The only
thing that a WebTV unit will communicate with is the WebTV service (or
the Japanese variant thereof).

Since all traffic goes through a point that will likely cooperate with
law enforcement (and has remote control of the boxes, too.), this doesn't
represent much of a loosening in the export controls.

It's probably as good as or better than any other Microsoft crypto, though.

Jon Leonard