From Ivory Tower to Iron Bars: Scientists Risk Jail Time for Violating Export Laws

Steve Furlong demonfighter at
Fri Sep 18 11:56:44 EDT 2009

On Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 4:32 AM, Alec Muffett <alec.muffett at> wrote:
> Perry: plasma physics is wildly OT but I believe the relevance will be
> obvious to those who remember the crypto wars, especially when they hit the
> fifth paragraph:
>> It’s a difficult subject: many people I interviewed felt Roth showed
>> blatant disregard for the law — he was warned  his work fell under the State
>> Department’s munitions list — but they expressed deep frustration with the
>> ambiguity of the laws.

Hypothetically, if I were to write an open source library or
application involving crypto, I'd send the source and docn through an
anonymizing remailer to someone overseas who could then put it on
appropriate websites. Or I'd go through a web anonymizer and post on
appropriate sites myself. Time was, hypothetically, that I'd
anonymously put source on alt.* Usenet groups, but they're dead in the

Even with relaxed interpretation of the crypto export laws, anyone in
the US would be a fool to rely on that interpretation. Never never
never put your name on publicly available crypto unless you've jumped
through all the hoops written into the law. (And I wouldn't do so even


Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet. -- Arnaud-Amaury, 1209

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