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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Is this man a crypto-criminal? The Feds won't say...

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Sat, 15 Jan 2000 10:02:12 -0500
To:             	politech@vorlon.mit.edu
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: Is this man a crypto-criminal? The Feds won't say...
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com



                        Is This Man a Crypto Criminal?
                        by Declan McCullagh (declan@wired.com)

                        3:00 a.m. 15.Jan.2000 PST
                        Crypto maven John Young has a problem.

                        He may be a felon, guilty of a federal
                        crime punishable by years in prison. Or he may
                        not be. He'd just like to know one way or

                        The 63-year-old architect and owner of
                        the popular Cryptome site has posted a
                        copy of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy)
                        encryption software for the world to

                        Young's seemingly innocuous act might
                        violate new US government regulations
                        that restrict placing privacy-protecting
                        crypto programs on the Web. Therein lies
                        the uncertainty. The rules are much less
                        onerous than the previous version, but
                        they still apply.

                        "The fact that questions still remain
                        about what does and does not violate the
                        law demonstrates that these regulations
                        continue to cloud the situation," said
                        David Sobel, general counsel of the
                        Electronic Privacy Information Center.

                        So Young decided to be intrepid -- and
                        perhaps risk a confrontation with the

                        "If it's not right, someone will tell me. If I
                        go to a lawyer to ask, they'll advise caution.
                        Every time I go to a lawyer they advise me not
                        to do it, so I don't go any more," he said.

                        The Department of Commerce, which
                        published the regulations and is in charge of
                        arresting crypto-miscreants, declined to
                        comment. Eugene Cottilli, a spokesman for
                        Commerce's bureau of export administration,
                        could not secure an official response from
                        government lawyers on Friday.


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