1997-09-25 - Exports and criminalizing crypto

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From: “John Smith” <jsmith58@hotmail.com>
To: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Message Hash: 639e75a8e17fa92adce4371ea040a21d4d8ae418f320f106cac7a07f0b2b464f
Message ID: <19970925193213.21630.qmail@hotmail.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1997-09-25 20:04:58 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 26 Sep 1997 04:04:58 +0800

Raw message

From: "John Smith" <jsmith58@hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 1997 04:04:58 +0800
To: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Subject: Exports and criminalizing crypto
Message-ID: <19970925193213.21630.qmail@hotmail.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain


Without the export restrictions we would see much more crypto sold
and used inside the US.  I'll bet there are lots of cypherpunks who
are holding off releasing crypto tools because of these laws.  Look
at the guy who said he had to go to Canada to release his crypto.
And he had to stop thinking about it when he was in the US.  This
is crazy.

Yes, it is stupid to have a law that using crypto makes a crime worse.
But this is not that bad compared to some laws.  It won't affect most
people.  With the export restrictions gone, the green light will be
given to make crypto available everywhere.  Every data transmission
will be encrypted, and people will be protected.

It might even be that the criminal part will be shut down by the
courts.  Once crypto is everywhere, it will be impossible to do
anything without using crypto.  The law would then be like a law
which said that breathing air while committing a crime will be
illegal.  I'm sure the lawyers could come up with a reason why this
kind of a law will be unconstitutional.

At this point the SAFE law looks like a good one.  Everyone said that
there was no way to stop the FBI from putting in the restrictions,
but they were stopped.  Now everyone says there is no way to get a
good bill out of the Senate, or past the president.  People are
missing one point.  We are right.  Stopping people from using crypto
is completely the opposite of the basic principles of this country.

Look at all the groups which came out against the amendment to SAFE.
The ACLU, the religious right, the NRA (how often do you see them
working together?).  Business executives, law professors, technical
experts.  If this coalition can hang together and support the bill
in its current form, the SAFE law still has a chance at success.
Probably not this year because there is not time, but next year they
should try again.  Getting rid of these export restrictions would
produce an explosion of Cypherpunk style crypto software.  It is a
big win.


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