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Re: lynx-dev SSL support now?
Re: lynx-dev SSL support now?
Fri, 7 May 1999 05:21:19 -0400 (EDT)
990507 i wrote:
> 990506 Mike Glamm wrote:
>> Now that the courts have destroyed the (bad) export laws,
> i haven't seen anything about that in Washington Post, Reuter or AP;
ok, it's in Reuter & AP, but not Washington Post, tonight.
it appears to be an important legal step,
but the Supreme Court will have to decide it ultimately.
once again, no-one should assume US laws apply elsewhere, incl Canada:
if in doubt, check with a lawyer in your own country.
AP Thursday 990506 1940
Court Strikes US Encryption Rules -- BOB EGELKO
SAN FRANCISCO -- Government limits on the export of computer encryption codes
are a violation of freedom of expression, ruled the 9th US Circuit Court
of Appeals Thursday, upholding a lower-court ruling that encryption codes
contain expressions of ideas & cannot be suppressed indefinitely by officials:
"Cryptographers use source code to express their scientific ideas
in much the same way mathematicians use equations or economists use graphs",
write Judge Betty Fletcher in the 2-1 ruling. The case involves Illinois
math prof Daniel Bernstein, who wanted to post his encryption formula
on the Internet: Fletcher wrote scientists "have been effectively chilled
from engaging in valuable scientific expression".
The ruling declares the regulations invalid in the largest federal appellate
circuit, which covers 9 Western states; the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals
(Cincinnati) is preparing to review another judge's ruling upholding
the same regulations. A court order preventing Bernstein from posting his code
remains in effect pending government decision whether to appeal further
[however, see the end of the 2nd story].
Bernstein, now at U Illinois (Chicago), developed an encryption program
called `Snuffle' as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley in 1990. In 1992
the State Dept, which then ran the regulatory program, told him
he could not post his code on the Internet without an export license,
which he has been unable to get.
"I do not expect this battle is over", said Bernstein's lawyer Cindy Cohn,
but the ruling was "a giant step along the road so the government can't
prevent people from developing this tool, this science".
"It's a giant step forward in bringing down export controls", said Tara Lemmey,
President, Electronic Frontier Foundation (San Francisco).
Depts of Justice & Commerce, which reviews encryption licenses, had no comment.
The Administration recently liberalized its rules to allow encryption
of some electronically posted credit-card information, but in most cases
the regulations still treat encryption codes like military weapons
& forbid their export without a license.
Reuter Friday 990507 0047
Scientist Gets Court Relief On Encryption -- Aaron Pressman
WASHINGTON -- [repetitions from above snipped] The dept of Commerce could
appeal the decision to the full 9th Circuit or the Supreme Court:
a spokeswoman said officials were still reviewing the decision Thursday.
The court ruled the source code of Bernstein's encryption program Snuffle
-- written in a way that humans could understand -- is protected
by the 1st Amendment's free-speech clause. The court did not strike down
the rules as applied to object code, written to actually run on a computer:
"To the extent the government's efforts are aimed at interdicting the flow
of scientific ideas (whether expressed in source code or otherwise),
as distinguished from encryption products, these efforts would appear
to strike deep into the heartland of the 1st Amendment", the court said.
Bernstein's attorney Cindy Cohn said the decision meant the export rules are
unconstitutional for anyone living in 9th Circuit territory, incl California.
David Sobel, general counsel, Electronic Privacy Information Center
(Washington), which filed a brief supporting Bernstein, called the opinion
"one of the most significant Internet decisions yet issued, which establishes
important precedents for both free speech & privacy on-line".
The 9th Circuit court itself may have run afoul of the export regulations:
Thursday's decision, which included source code of Bernstein's program,
was posted on the Internet & could be seen by viewers around the World.
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