E Is Free!!!
Sun, 16 Jan 2000 16:29:12 -0500
> My read, purposely ignoring the fine print, is that
> they've capitulated. There are tons of laws on the
> books that are never enforced, and are routinely
> ignored. It seems clear to me that crypto export
> controls have just joined this category, and I will
> act appropriately.
It does indeed appear that support for crypto export controls is waning.
Many of the key influential parties involved are getting around to
acknowledging publicly the doubts they have expressed privately for a long
time. This helps. It would be a mistake to confuse this for total victory,
and there are people engaged in the dialogue who are hoping just this will
There remain many parties who are opposed to broad-access cryptography. It
would be a grave mistake to run wild now and give those parties support for
their arguments. Better by far to stick carefully and quietly to the
requirements of the new liberalization until the spread of good crypto has
simply spread too far to undo.
Also, keep in mind that crypto is only as good as the endpoints, and that
the discussion about secure operating systems is just beginning. I am
actively engaged in this discussion, and excessive exuberance from the
crypto community could easily jeopardize the outcome.
So please, enjoy and leverage the new freedom. Continue the battle for
*unrestricted* cryptography; do not let the liberalization turn into a
successful sop that distracts or undermines the effort. Argue strongly for
first amendment rights in this context and also for basic personal
But PLEASE think carefully before you ignore the regs. Softly, softly
catchee congress critter.
Jonathan S. Shapiro, Ph. D.
Research Staff Member
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Phone: +1 914 784 7085 (Tieline: 863)
Fax: +1 914 784 6576
"Mark S. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>@eros-os.org on 01/15/2000 02:31:12 AM
Sent by: email@example.com
To: Lucky Green <firstname.lastname@example.org>
cc: E Language Discussions <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: E Is Free!!!
At 07:33 PM 1/14/00 , Lucky Green wrote:
>... Though I have the feeling that it may be too soon to
>break out the champagne. AFIK, you still need to implement reverse DNS
>checks to ensure the requestor isn't a foreign government. Simplistically
>spoken, it doesn't require many pages of regs to convey that crypto can
>legally exported. The new regs are of amazingly nested complexity. I am
>certain a truly thorough analysis of the new regs exists at this time.
>I read the EFF/EPIC/ACLU press release, the regs themselves, and the
>comments on the Net].
At some point, we need to recognize that "legal" isn't defined by what the
regs say, but by what they will bother to enforce and what a jury will
convict. My read, purposely ignoring the fine print, is that they've
capitulated. There are tons of laws on the books that are never enforced,
and are routinely ignored. It seems clear to me that crypto export
have just joined this category, and I will act appropriately. I encourage
everyone to do likewise. What are they gonna do? Prosecute me in the
Circuit, where current legal precedent says that I am engaging in protected
speech, and where they can now only accuse me of misunderstanding the
pointless fine print of an obviously confusing document? In particular, I
will be posting E *without* first notifying firstname.lastname@example.org by email or
otherwise. This requirement is, as always, prior restraint. What's new is
that they now no longer can even think they have anything to gain by
When the danger goes down this far, if we don't assert our rights by
potentially-civil-disobedient action, are we not cowards? As far as I am
concerned, cryptographic export has simply been legalized today (modulo
the still-potentially-provocative T7 issue which I will continue to avoid
Let January 14 be remembered as Cryptographic Freedom Day!