1996-11-09 - Re: WebTV a “munition”

Header Data

From: Eric Murray <ericm@lne.com>
To: jleonard@divcom.umop-ap.com (Jon Leonard)
Message Hash: c67e2ef23c282d6fbafe1bbe8dc21bc6b13b5187ff4702e851d340d915357705
Message ID: <199611091806.KAA00144@slack.lne.com>
Reply To: <9611082146.AA25405@divcom.umop-ap.com>
UTC Datetime: 1996-11-09 18:06:51 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 9 Nov 1996 10:06:51 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: Eric Murray <ericm@lne.com>
Date: Sat, 9 Nov 1996 10:06:51 -0800 (PST)
To: jleonard@divcom.umop-ap.com (Jon Leonard)
Subject: Re: WebTV a "munition"
In-Reply-To: <9611082146.AA25405@divcom.umop-ap.com>
Message-ID: <199611091806.KAA00144@slack.lne.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Jon Leonard writes:
> Eric Murray wrote:
> [Stuff about WebTv/crypto/export problems]
> > 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?
> I'm not sure they're doing either.  When I talked to my friends at WebTv,
> I got the impression that they thought a functional browser needed to have
> support for electronic commerce.  This electronic commerce needs crypto,
> and if you're going to do crypto right, it has to be strong crypto.

Right.  But if you're doing SSL, you _have_ to know about the
export issues!  It's all over the sources, specs, docs etc etc.
It's almost implssible to be 'clueless' about this if you
have implemented SSL or even looked seriously at doing it.

So if their point is to fight against ITAR (one interpretation of
the facts as I know them) why haven't they announced that they're doing so?
It would be good PR.


> Given that they've tried to do everything else right (and, in my opinion,
> succeeded), that may be all there is to it.
> I'll ask for more details next time I talk to them.

That'd be cool.  I think that there's a lot that we don't know about this.

The web site doesn't have much hard info, just a lot of
buzzword-compliant marketing bullstuff and the highest ratio of
(TM)s to words that I have ever seen.

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