1996-12-30 - Re: Export proposal

Header Data

From: “Timothy C. May” <tcmay@got.net>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: adbe23f7a3dc75b1edb08a89b232b6c619c10b96b7645fa65887ace138791095
Message ID: <v03007801aeed263a0b01@[]>
Reply To: <32cc13c3.83442324@kdn0.attnet.or.jp>
UTC Datetime: 1996-12-30 08:00:30 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 00:00:30 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: "Timothy C. May" <tcmay@got.net>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 00:00:30 -0800 (PST)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Export proposal
In-Reply-To: <32cc13c3.83442324@kdn0.attnet.or.jp>
Message-ID: <v03007801aeed263a0b01@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 9:02 PM -0800 12/29/96, Huge Cajones Remailer wrote:

>What this means is that the government is afraid that a ban on printed
>material would be considerably more difficult to uphold in court.
>It's far easier for them to argue that a floppy disk is a mechinism
>presenting a clear and present danger than it would be to argue the
>same for a book.
>So why don't we take this debate where the Government least wants to
>fight it--the realm of printed matter.  Someone should start a crypto
>export business that takes crypto source code, prints it, and mails it
>overseas where someone else scans the source code and deliveres it in
>electronic form to a recipient.

Ah, but the clause which says:

>>    (7) General Prohibition Seven--Support of Certain Activities by
>>U.S. persons--(i) Support of Proliferation Activities (U.S. Person
>>Proliferation Activity). If you are a U.S. Person as that term is
>>defined in Sec. 744.6(c) of the EAR, you may not engage in any
>>activities prohibited by Sec. 744.6 (a) or (b) of the EAR which
>>prohibits the performance, without a license from BXA, of certain
>>financing, contracting, service, support, transportation, freight
>>forwarding, or employment that you know will assist in certain
>>proliferation activities described further in part 744 of the EAR.

would appear to make such a "conspiracy" itself a crime, regardless of
First Amendment issues. This is why this new law is so pernicious: it
declares a broad class of behaviors (contracting, support, financing, etc.)
to be criminal acts.

And "prior restraint" isn't even really needed...all they have to do is to
prosecute those who provide aid and comfort to the enemy, _after_ the
publication, and the effect will be to suppress further such publications
of code.

(Note of course that the government does not practice prior restraint as a
means of stopping spies and traitors, generally. Nor are such acts of
treason or espionage protected on First Amendment grounds....I see no
reason to expect that publication of crypto code would be treated much
differently, should this new crypto law be upheld.)

--Tim May

Just say "No" to "Big Brother Inside"
We got computers, we're tapping phone lines, I know that that ain't allowed.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
tcmay@got.net  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."