[ISN] Encryption Software Not Protected

From: mea culpa (jerichot_private)
Date: Thu Jul 09 1998 - 23:52:07 PDT

  • Next message: mea culpa: "[ISN] DoD Plans Global Domestic Invasion"

    Forwarded From: Nicholas Charles Brawn <ncb05t_private>
                       Encryption Software Not Protected
       CLEVELAND (AP) -- The government is not violating free speech rights by
    requiring licenses to export software programs that provide Internet
    confidentiality, a federal judge has ruled.
       The high-tech industry wants the government to relax restrictions on
    exporting encryption programs that prevent electronic eavesdropping. The
    ability to scramble e-mail messages is also becoming more important as the
    amount of shopping on the Internet increases.
       But law enforcement officials, including the Justice Department, worry
    that criminals or terrorists could use the technology to send
    communications that police can't decode.
       U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin ruled encryption isn't a form of
    speech but simply does a job -- scrambling information.
       "Among computer software programs, encryption software is especially
    functional rather than expressive," he wrote in a decision released Monday.
       Peter Junger, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University who
    tried to have the restrictions invalidated, said he would appeal.
       Junger sued after he was prevented from posting an encryption program on
    his Internet site. The program was intended to be part of his students'
    course materials on computer law.
       Since the Internet is available worldwide, posting the program would
    have been the equivalent of exporting the technology.
       Junger said the government's licensing requirement is silly because
    people in other countries already post encryption programs and he could
    distribute the same information in a book.
       Anthony Coppolino, the government's lead attorney in the case, said he
    hadn't seen the decision and declined to comment.
    Subscribe: mail majordomot_private with "subscribe isn".
    Today's ISN Sponsor: Repent Security Incorporated [www.repsec.com]

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 12:58:27 PDT