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Re: lynx-dev US encryption laws: FT latest

From: Kim DeVaughn
Subject: Re: lynx-dev US encryption laws: FT latest
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999 03:36:17 -0700

On Sat, Nov 27, 1999, Philip Webb (address@hidden) said:
| [ NB the US govt says restrictions will remain for open-source products:
| towards the end of the story ]

| But Mr Reinsch has made it clear that the lifting of restrictions does
| not apply to source code. This may have implications for any open-source
| products' or other international development efforts, and suggests
| development of open-source products will stay outside the US.

Something that is not covered in the new regs (as far as I can tell, in
my attempt to wade through all the legaleese), is the status of products
that do not themselves contain any cryptographic code/algorithms per se,
but may have "hooks" to interface with other products that *are* crypto-
graphic in nature.

Obvious examples of such "adjunct programs" are lynx (interfacing to an
SSL library), mutt (hooks to utilize various versions of pgp/gpg), etc.

I've sent some comments to the Dept of Commerce contact person/address
given in the Draft of the new regs, asking for clarification on the status
of such "adjunct" programs/usage to be added to the regs.  Whether that
will be done or not, is anyone's guess (though I suspect the DoC would
*prefer* to leave that area as "fuzzy" as possible, so they can try and
intimidate developers of such applications into NOT providing such inter-
faces, as I do not believe for a moment that the US really *wants* crypto
regs *actually* relaxed, or crypto usage to proliferate any more than can
be helped).

We shall see ...


"We create the government that screws you, and then you're supposed to thank
 us for protecting you from it."   --Congressman Vin Weber (R-Minn)

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