FreeSWAN & US export controls

John Gilmore gnu at
Tue Dec 11 00:04:31 EST 2001

Anonymous said:
> The major problem that holds back the development of FreeS/WAN is
> with its management.  [Management that cares more about sitting on
> its pulpit, than getting useful software into the hands of people.]
> Unless things have changed recently, they still won't accept
> contributions from the US.  This makes no sense.  GPG is shipping
> with every Linux distribution I know of, and the German's take
> contributions from the US.

(From the pulpit:)

Once we kick John Asscroft's unconstitutional ash outta town, bush
George Bust along with more than a thousand other innocents, and
eliminate the spectre of Judd Gregg and other retrograde stalinists
're-regulating' US crypto, then we'll think about polluting the
precious bodily fluids of worldwide freeware privacy protection with
the stench of US crypto policy.  It probably won't happen for a few months.

Or hadn't you noticed that the US government is not in much of a mood
to follow the constitution or to tolerate dissent or privacy among the
sleepy sheeplike citizens?  They're doing their best to stamp that
radical stuff out right here in the USSA, let alone let it cross the
border into parts of the world that they don't have firmly under their
thumb.  Less than 100% support for every paranoid and senseless twitch
of the current Administration is a demonstration not not only of
treason but of active support for terrorism, which everyone knows is a
terrible thing except when the US or Israel or Great Britain does it.
Anybody reading this mailing list is already gonna be first up against
the wall once the joy of arresting immigrant movers as 'terrorists'
fades, and spying on 'domestic political groups' become fair game.
Your packets are already in the lint screen on that big, big vacuum
cleaner.  And our new policy of maximum sentences for trivial
'crimes', like forgetting to file some form, reduces the expense and
bother of actually trying suspects for the crimes that the agencies
suspect them of.  Of course you can confront your accusers!  Did you or
did you not jaywalk across Route 1 last July, Mr. May?

> The primary kernel developers have been willing to integrate crypto
> into the kernel since the crypto regs were lowered.  It's the policy
> of no US contributions that's holding back Linux IPSEC.

The reason I started the IPSEC-for-Linux project those many years ago
was because Linux kernel releases used to be built in free countries,
unlike the releases of most other operating systems.  Now they aren't.

Perhaps mr. or ms. 'anonymous' and the primary kernel developers
didn't spend seven years making a principled tilt at the windmill of
NSA's export controls.  We overturned them by a pretty thin margin.
The government managed to maneuver such that no binding precedents
were set: if they unilaterally change the regulations tomorrow to
block the export of public domain crypto, they wouldn't be violating
any court orders or any judicial decisions.  I.e. they are not BOUND
by the policy change.  They changed it "voluntarily", in order to
sneak out of the court cases by the back door.  Even today it is
sometimes said that once Dan Bernstein ends his court case (which
still continues today), the NSA is ready, willing, and able to slap
the controls right back on.  And it would take months or years in
court -- and lots more volunteer citizen money spent for freedom,
while the bastards spend tax money to lock us up -- to get the
controls removed again.  If the judges haven't changed their minds in
the meantime.

(You may have noticed that last month, the Second Circuit Court of
Appeals accpted Judge Kaplan's half-lies-half-truth judgment 3-0 in
the 2600 case appeal: Yes, absolutely, software is First Amendment
protected speech.  But no, somehow the First Amendment really doesn't
mean what it means elsewhere; of *course* they can regulate the
publication of software on flimsy grounds.  Like that sometime later,
somebody somewhere might potentially be somewhat hurt by something
somebody else does with the software, if we don't eliminate that
option by restricting the publication of that software now.  Suppose
the next crypto export court case happens in NY rather than CA?  EFF
would be proud to defend John Young and Perry Metzger, but all its
lawyers might be in prison, charged by John Asscroft with "aiding
terrorists by eroding our national unity and diminishing our

> IMHO: If Freeswan had never been created, an alternate, more mature
> implementation would already exist in the mainline Linux kernel.

Make my day.

	John Gilmore

PS: Of course, the only software worth wasting your time on comes from
those macho dudes of the U.S. of A.  Those furriners don't even know
how to speek the lingua proper, let alone write solid buggy code like
Microsoft.  High crypto math is all Greek to them.  It's just lucky
for Linus that he moved to the US, otherwise we'd all know his furrin
software was crap too, even tho he tricked us by cloning it from Bell Labs.

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