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Re: LYNX-DEV Lynx & US Govt (was SSL for Lynx 2.8)

From: David Woolley
Subject: Re: LYNX-DEV Lynx & US Govt (was SSL for Lynx 2.8)
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 08:37:12 +0000 (GMT)

> I don't know the answer, but apparently it is possible.. it's been in 
> the news lately that *some* hi tech company has been able to get export rights
> for some high security stuff.

This has always been possible for purposes which the US government considers
desirable.  It has, for example, always been possible for UK financial 
institutions to gain access to US implementations of DES.

The problem that Lynx has is that, being source code, it is too easy to
remove key length restrictions and take it out of the sort of general 
licence that applies to export versions of commercial software and into
the category that needs individual, end user, clearance.

On the other hand, books describing the algorithms have always been 
exportable!  I have a copy of Byte which is maybe 15 to 20 years old, 
which contains a complete specification of DES; that was from the days
when Byte was more than just another mass market PC magazine.

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