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[FYI] U.S. / Australian Crypto Policy


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Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 15:31:19 -0500
From: Vin McLellan <vin@shore.net>
To: aucrypto@suburbia.net
Subject: AUCRYPTO: RSA Down Under

 Stewart Baker <sbaker@steptoe.com>, Washington attorney, acting
chairman of the President's Export Council's Subcommittee on
Encryption, former NSA General Counsel, and an usually savvy
commentator on crypto politics and US export controls, wrote on Dave
Farber's IP List:

> RSA's Australian crypto announcement should be taken with a
> grain of salt. Australia may have somewhat more lenient
> encryption export practices than the US, but it is in fact
> closely aligned with the US on most such issues.

 Historically -- particularly, spook to spook -- this is certainly
true, at least in statutes and regulations controlling the export of
commercial crypto code exported from Australia on magnetic media. See
Part III, category 5/2, of the Australian Controls on the Export of
Defence and Strategic Goods. Crypto software at:

<http://www.dod.gov.au/dao/exportcontrols/greenbk/guidelin.htm> See

the FAQ from Electronic Frontier, Australia, at:


> As I said to one reporter, moving from the US to Australia
> because you don't like US encryption controls is like moving
> from Minneapolis to Chicago because you don't like cold
> winters -- quite possibly an improvement but not exactly a
> solution.

 Great line, but....

        For many years, Australia has allowed the virtually
distribution, over the Internet, of many of the most popular free
industrial-strength cryptosystems, crypto libraries, and
crypto-enhanced application packages. A public FTP site at the
Australian Defence Force Academy offers unrestricted downloads of
PGPi, has for years. Imagine the culture shock if the US suddenly
became a nation in which West Point had a website which offered free
and trusted e-mail encryption software, over the Internet, to any
citizen of any country!


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