1996-11-08 - WebTV a “munition”

Header Data

From: Eric Murray <ericm@lne.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: b31ed411c2257d25a0f6c917e030491a1e886a5f0ab8d5d2522f61dac2d29e25
Message ID: <199611081616.IAA21577@slack.lne.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1996-11-08 16:16:59 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 08:16:59 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: Eric Murray <ericm@lne.com>
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 08:16:59 -0800 (PST)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: WebTV a "munition"
Message-ID: <199611081616.IAA21577@slack.lne.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Page 3 of the San Jose Mercury News has a small blurb
about WebTV's browser/set-top box that "uses
computer-security technology so powerful that the
government is classifying it as a weapon
that will require a special export license before
it can be sold overseas".

"Few industry experts expect such a licsense to
be granted, meaning the companies are unlikely to
begin selling current versions of the US-made
devices next year in Eurpoe and Japan as they
had planned".

[fluff about export laws]

"We're the guinea pig" says Steve Perlman, chairman
and CEO blah blah.

So what's the story here?  It's a web browser, so they're
probably talking about SSL.  SSL (both versions) already has mechanisims for
allowing "export" level encryption, and although you still need to
get a Commodities Jurisdiction, it's been done before so it
shouldn't be too difficult.  If they didn't use the "export"
level SSL CipherTypes, then what're they up to?  Are they
fighting crypto export laws (for which they should be congratulated
and supported) or are they just looking for free publicity?

Eric Murray  ericm@lne.com  ericm@motorcycle.com  http://www.lne.com/ericm
PGP keyid:E03F65E5 fingerprint:50 B0 A2 4C 7D 86 FC 03  92 E8 AC E6 7E 27 29 AF