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NY Times/AP: Court Says Computer Programming Languages Are Protected by First Amendment

Apr 05, 2000, 05:23 (3 Talkback[s])

"Computer programs used to scramble electronic messages are protected by the First Amendment because those codes are a means of communication among programmers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday."

"Raymond Vasvari, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, said the ruling was the first time a federal appellate court has decided that computer programming languages are protected by the First Amendment."

"'This is a great day for programmers, computer scientists and all Americans who believe that privacy and intellectual freedom should be free from government control,' he said."

"The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling means a lawsuit filed by a Cleveland law professor will be reconsidered in federal court. Peter D. Junger's lawsuit claims the government violated his free-speech rights by requiring licenses to export programs that scramble electronic messages."

Complete story.

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