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Re: lynx-dev Land of the Free

From: Philip Webb
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Land of the Free
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 03:45:07 -0400 (EDT)

981005 Matt Ackeret wrote: 
> On Mon, 5 Oct 1998 address@hidden wrote:
>> Canada liberalises encryption -- Edward Alden & Scott Morrison, Toronto
>> Canada yesterday said it would not impose restrictions on domestic use
>> & importation of encryption technologies, to help Canadian companies
>> take a lead in developing e-commerce applications; it will also speed up
>> export permits for encryption technology, while maintaining Canada's
>> international obligations ...
> Is Canada's "no permit required" limit any higher than the US?
> In other words, would it be viable for someone in Canada
> to develop new https support that's readily available for everyone?
i interpret the announcement -- in light of my knowledge of this country --
as  50 %  a genuine attempt to Do The Right Thing &  50 %  political hype.
on encryption, Canada is refusing to follow US demands for 3rd-party escrow,
ie the Mounties will have to go to a judge & get a warrant for the USER
a/a some 3rd party, who might be more amenable to co-operate;
Canada has the same constitutional prohibition of unreasonable searches.
on export, nothing seems to have been changed,
ie most exports are restricted for N Korea, Iraq & Libya because of the UN
-- that's the bit in the story about "international obligations" -- ,
but otherwise the only restriction is a regulation -- NOT a statute -- ,
whose constitutional validity has never been tested,
prohibiting RE-export of US products if it would violate US law.

Canadian attitudes to law-enforcement are far more pragmatic than the US:
the assumption here is that everyone obeys the law,
but we have to protect ourselves against the occasional problem person.
we look with amazement at the ruthlessness of US prosecutors,
which we read about daily in the press (not only the White House case).
there isn't the same moral fervor which infects parts of US society
nor do we have the same kind of international enemies list.

so surely, anyone can develop encryption techniques freely in Canada
& export them to countries not on the UN -- not US -- restricted list,
but if you want to re-export a US product you probably won't be harrassed,
but it would be best to consult a lawyer first
& possibly be prepared to make constitutional history.

SUPPORT     ___________//___,  Philip Webb : address@hidden
ELECTRIC   /] [] [] [] [] []|  Centre for Urban & Community Studies
TRANSIT    `-O----------O---'  University of Toronto

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