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Re: Wassenaar Statement
- To: [email protected]
- Subject: Re: Wassenaar Statement
- From: Anonymous <[email protected]>
- Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 17:45:48 +0100
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- Sender: [email protected]
If these reports are correct, the United States could end up being one of
the countries with the most LIBERAL export controls.
In the United States, it is currently legal to export any cryptographic
software you like - as long as it is in printed form. This is because
of fears of violating the First Amendment. Not all countries have such
strong conventions for protecting the printed word.
PGP source code is being exported in printed form, scanned in overseas,
and then distributed from there. If the Wassenaar Arrangement prevents
it from being exported from its current overseas distribution site,
a solution can be to ship it in printed form from the U.S. to a wide
range of other countries. As long as those countries don't prohibit
domestic distribution of crypto software, strong cryptography can still
be made available almost everywhere.
The PGP source code books begin with a section that is, in effect, a
"how-to" for printing software in such a way that it can be reliably
scanned. Each page and each line has a checksum. The books come with
a Perl script short enough to enter by hand that does basic checksum
verification. This is used to read a second, longer Perl script that
can do error correction; and this is then used to bootstrap into the
full script which will read the books, create all the files, organize
the directories, and reconstruct the entire source code tree.
It may be that in the future this will be the most effective way to
communicate internationally about security software. It would be
good for other groups to become familiar with this technology which has
been pioneered by PGP.