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Beware Open Source Encryption

Oct 26, 2009, 22:32 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Erickson)

"There's nothing like an official letter from the U.S. Department of Commerce's munitions control office to make you choke on your morning coffee. At least that was my response upon receiving such a notice a few years ago. It turns out we were (and still are) exporting "Dr. Dobb's Essential Books of Cryptography and Security" CD-ROM which provides the full text of articles and books -- as well as source code -- about encryption algorithms and protocols.

"We'd been exporting "munitions" without a license -- that is, munitions that consisted of source code implementations of cryptography algorithms.

"The solution was simple: I filled out some paperwork, wrote a $250 check, and Dr. Dobb's became a legally sanctioned munitions exporter. "

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