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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: US claims victory: stricter export controls on e

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Thu, 03 Dec 1998 19:27:13 -0500
To:            politech@vorlon.mit.edu
From:          Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:       FC: US claims victory: stricter export controls on encryption
Reply-to:      declan@well.com

[So much for the White House's hands-off-the-Net policy. One wonders
what the companies that on Monday applauded Clinton and Gore for their
ostensibly deregulatory approach think about this. --Declan]


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   Volume 5.18	                                 December 3, 1998

                            Published by the
              Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
                            Washington, D.C.


= [2] International Crypto Agreement Modified

The US Commerce Department reported on December 3 that the Wassenaar
Arrangement, a 33-country group that works on exports of military
goods, has reached an agreement on setting limits on international
transfers of encryption.

The new agreement reportedly allows for exports of crypto products up
to 56 bits for all crypto and 64 bits for mass market software or
hardware. These changes reflect both a relaxation and an increase in
restrictions. Currently, cryptography items are strictly controlled.
However, mass market software is exempt. Only a few countries
including the US currently restrict exports of mass market software.

The decision to implement these changes will remain with each country
and this agreement may not result in any changes in current practice.
As the Secretariat notes on their web page: "The decision to transfer
or deny transfer of any item will be the sole responsibility of each
Participating State. All measures undertaken with respect to the
arrangement will be in accordance with national legislation and
policies and will be implemented on the basis of national discretion."
The US has been lobbying the other members to adopt more restrictive
laws. However, many nations such as Finland, Canada and Ireland have
announced domestic policies in the past year which allow for more
liberal exports.

Earlier this year members of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign, an
international organizations of civil liberties groups around the
world, wrote to the Wassenaar Secretariat and urged the removal of
controls on cryptography. The GILC Statement said that "failure to
protect the free use and distribution of cryptographic software will
jeopardize the life and freedom of human rights activists, journalists
and political activists all over the world."

The announcement from the US Department of Commerce on the new
Wassenaar controls came in the same week that the White House said
that it would pursue a policy of "self-regulation" for Internet

More information on Wassenaar is available from:


GILC Statement:


WASHINGTON, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Clinton administration officials on
Thursday said they had persuaded other leading countries to impose
strict new export controls on computer data-scrambling products under
the guise of arms control.

At a meeting on Thursday in Vienna, the 33 nations that have signed
the Wassenaar Arrangement limiting arms exports -- including Japan,
Germany and Britain -- agreed to impose controls on the most powerful
data-scrambling technologies, including for the first time mass-market
software, U.S. special envoy for cryptography David Aaron told


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