Re: FW: Crypto

From: Henry Spencer (
Date: Wed Aug 02 2000 - 23:14:21 EST

On Wed, 2 Aug 2000, Michael H. Warfield wrote:
> They don't want to merely be in a clean defensible position where the
> courts would find in their favor, they want to be so overwhelmingly
> safe that there would be nothing that could be brough against them for
> which they would have to defend themselves.

This actually misses the point rather badly. The key issue is not whether
the project has to defend itself -- it has lawyers available if need be --
but whether people will be scared off from using good crypto because it
*just might* be an export violation. The bad guys have historically been
rather skillful at winning battles with FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt)
when they weren't likely to prevail in court. The point of our policies
is to eliminate all reasonable doubt about whether the code is truly free,
unencumbered, uncontrolled, and **legitimately** usable by everyone.
Including people who can't touch it if there seems to be any chance that
they might someday end up in court over it.

Considering that our founder John Gilmore is already spending considerable
time, money, and effort on legal challenges to US crypto policy, the claim
that we're scared of legal action is more than a little silly.

                                                          Henry Spencer

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