Encryption Export Case Tossed, Government Says To Trust Them To Ignore Law

from the hmmm... dept

For years, one of the big “geek” issues concerned the “export” of encryption. The US government deemed encryption software to be a weapon, and exporting that was illegal. One of the more well known cases concerned professor Daniel Bernstein, who wanted to distribute a simple encryption program he had written. The government’s latest response in the case is to say that, while the law still stands, they won’t enforce it – and on that basis, the judge has thrown out the case. Of course, it makes you wonder why, if they’re not planning on enforcing the law, they don’t work to overturn the law completely. As it stands, with the law still in place, it lets them do selective enforcement, and wait for a case where they can’t pin anything else on someone, and suddenly pull out this obsolete law.

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Comments on “Encryption Export Case Tossed, Government Says To Trust Them To Ignore Law”

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dorpus says:

The NSA factor

Perhaps the NSA has already figured out how to break such encryptions, so the use of encryption by foreigners in fact makes it easier to spot secrets.

Ordinary Americans have nothing to fear from the NSA — since it is illegal for the NSA to listen in on Americans, that job is delegated to Canadian and British intelligence. This way, countries can swap information about their own citizens without spying on their own citizens.

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