1996-01-23 - Re: Crippled Notes export encryption

Header Data

From: Alex Strasheim <cp@proust.suba.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 8463787aa3e1a8b0678805e3450f8ed327878088ae11ae62911b2d1b285130a7
Message ID: <199601231700.LAA02072@proust.suba.com>
Reply To: <199601231539.KAA10548@jekyll.piermont.com>
UTC Datetime: 1996-01-23 23:07:59 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 07:07:59 +0800

Raw message

From: Alex Strasheim <cp@proust.suba.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 07:07:59 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Crippled Notes export encryption
In-Reply-To: <199601231539.KAA10548@jekyll.piermont.com>
Message-ID: <199601231700.LAA02072@proust.suba.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text

> By the way, I really think Netscape should simply ship Jeff and other
> people to the Amsterdam office or wherever else seems reasonable and
> do all the crypto work from there. It will save trouble and
> hassle. U.S. citizens wanting full 128 bit over the net would then get
> it from Netscape's overseas download sites. No one anywhere in the
> world would be forced to use crap.

I've wondered why they don't do this as well.  For people around the world
in general, it would be a very good thing.  But what kind of an effect
would it have on this country?  What if they decide it's easier to fire
Jeff and hire some Dutch guy instead?  Would the government decide that
the export ban was pointless and lift it?  Or would they stand by as big
chunks of our software industry are lost to foreign competitors? 

Remember this is the government we're talking about, the people who 
destroyed a villiage in order to save it.

It seems to me that loss of jobs is inevitable if the rules aren't
changed.  But I'm not sure it's a good thing to accelerate the process. 
I'm not sure it's not, either -- both options are unpleasant. 

There's probably a big opportunity here for some enterprising cypherpunk
who's willing to move to Amsterdam (or who lives there already).  Set up a
company that provides crypto guts and distribution services for American
software companies. 

Stand alone computers are becoming less useful and less common all the 
time.  Networking is a fact of life in the computer industry.  If you're 
doing networking you have to think about security, and if you're serious 
about security you have to use crypto.  A software industry that can't 
deploy crypto without hindrance is living on borrowed time.  

We in America are extremely vulnerable to flight.  We will lose jobs and
market share if we don't change our policies.  Because other countries
will deploy crypto, our polices will be completely ineffective in
preserving the government's ability to do surveillance.  

What's the point? 

It would be very interesting to see what would happen if Netscape
announced that it's considering moving its crypto operations overseas in a
year if the export restrictions aren't lifted.