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[FYI] (Fwd) info about Wassenaar from Canadian sources

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Fri, 4 Dec 1998 17:14:21 -0500 (EST)
From:          Steven Cooper <scoop@insight.cas.mcmaster.ca>
Subject:       info about Wassenaar from Canadian sources
To:            gilc-plan@gilc.org
Reply-to:      gilc-plan@gilc.org

Here's the view from Canada ...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
From: David Jones <djones@efc.ca>
To: efc-talk@efc.ca
Subject: hard to get specific details on Wassenaar Arrangement
X-EFC-Web-Site: http://www.efc.ca

There are still a lot of unanswered questions swirling around about
the Wassenaar Arrangement that Canada has apparently just signed. The
Canadian negotiating team will be flying back from Vienna, Austria and
more details will be available early next week.  Specific wording
should be available on Monday, Dec 7th.  The *big* question is really:
what did the US do to get the rest of the countries to cave in?

In the mean time, here is what I am hearing first-hand from reliable
and independent sources.

- There is "some relaxation" of export restrictions for cryptography
  related to authentication, digital signatures, and key management.

- There is "some relaxation" for restrictions on symmetric methods
  using key lengths of 56 bits or less.  Stronger crypto would require
  an export license.

- There is no restriction on mass-market software using symmetric
  and a key length of 64 bits or less.  Stronger mass-market crypto
  would require an export license.

- "Public Domain Software is not restricted"
  [If this is really true, this is still an important loophole.]

- There is not yet any clear information about the status of
  "intangible goods", like crypto software on a web site, or sent by
  email, as opposed to "tangible goods", like software on a floppy
  disk or CD-ROM.

- - - - -

This is consistent with the claims coming out of the US Commerce Dept
about "plugging a massive loophole" for mass-market software over 64

It is a matter of speculation whether boasting loudly about that
victory is an attempt to distract attention from any remaining
loophole related to "public domain" software.

-- djones@efc.ca