Re: Encryption Regulations

Chris Hind (
Wed, 01 Jan 1997 22:59:42 -0800

>As I was considering the way that the United States is trying to restrict
>export of cryptographic algorithms, I was thinking about the guy who
>distributed PGP anyway, in spite of the laws against doing so.

His name is Phil Zimmerman and he didn't know it was against the law when
he first did it.

>He got in some
>trouble for doing so, but what if he had distributed it over the Internet,
>through anonymous remailers, so no one would know who sent it? All he
>has to do is get it to someone outside of the United States and let *them*
>distribute the software far and wide.

You don't think PGP has made it across borders? I see it xferred all over
the net and if you can't do that, you can always xfer it over warez
newsgroups and IRC channels.

>As far as I see it, the United States'
>ban on the exportation of encryption algorithms is a hollow sentiment.

This is exactly why I say the internet is breaking laws across the globe
with shear force.

>Is it really as easy as I think it is to walk right through the United
>encryption ban? Or am I missing something?

As far as I know it is. I mean, what could they possibly do to stop you. I
think it's due to the blatant ignorance of the american gov't. Take this
quote from Robert Dole, "The Internet is a great tool for getting on the
net." Unless there is perhaps some advantage to having the US comply I
don't see why they don't do this. Encryption along with pornography, warez,
and other 'grey' and 'subversive' material cannot be stopped by any form of
gov't except a global one. And as the net grows and technology increases,
new forms of piracy are coming about. Take for instance the MPEG 1 layer 3
compression standard that is now being utilized to transfer *entire* music
CDs in full 44.1khz STEREO 16bit quality over the net. Next will be
full-length feature films. It seems that the only way you can make a living
on the net is by constantly investing, advertizing, or subscribed
information. On the topic of 'warez', I see an end to computer software
piracy because applications will likely soon fall under the 'constantly
investing' category where you will pay for your copy of Microsoft Office by
subscription because it will be constantly upgraded automatically.
Encyclopedias will probably go away unless they can figure out content too
large to be transferred online like large detailed VRML structures of
monuments or such. Large established applications shouldn't have a problem
and neither will multiplayer games due to registered owner serial numbers
to verify the owner of the product such as the Kali multiplayer game
software uses. Forgive me if I've drifted off the topic a bit but I'd like
to add that I've indexed so-called 'subversive' and 'grey' information on
my NeoReality website. I have yet to add an encryption section but thanks
for reminding me. My site is contained on Geocities and has links material
all over the net.

"Information just wants to be Free." (I am now a devout Wired-head)

Chris Hind ( Upward, Outward, ACTION!
NeoReality (Personal)
Ethereal Outlook (Extropian)