[Cryptography] What should I put in notifications to NSA?

Ray Dillinger bear at sonic.net
Fri Dec 18 22:02:07 EST 2015

On 12/17/2015 11:48 AM, Henry Baker wrote:

> Huh!?!
> What is "encryption"?  What is "encryption technology" ?
> Is a random number generator (pseudo or true) included within these definitions ?
> Does any device that includes XOR qualify?
> What about "rsync", which utilizes a hash function ?

With legal codes, as distinct from computer code, these definitions
are made up *after* the fact, and are likely to include anything
that comes up in court as the subject of a search or subpeona.  The
courts will eventually decide whether whatever means were used
constitute the lawful exercise of a freedom from unreasonable search
and seizure, or an unlawful exercise of

1) evidence spoilation
2) accessory (before or after the fact)
3) obstruction of justice
4) harboring a fugitive
5) failure to comply with subpeona
6) contempt of court
7) conspiracy to commit a crime
8) whatever else the prosecution decides to call it.

So, bluntly speaking, there is no "definition" precise enough
to satisfy you, and likely never will be.  They literally decide
it case by case, and if it's fifth-amendment the developer of the
unregistered/unreported software is not likely to be prosecuted,
and if it isn't then there may (or may not!) be a problem.

I doubt that rsync will ever prevent prosecution (or defense) from
getting its hands on evidence, nor facilitate the commission of a
crime more than, say, a standard non-crypto utility like ftp would.
So the odds of it coming up in court or its makers being prosecuted
for failure to notify are essentially nil.  But nobody can rule it
out completely.


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