Law News Network: Source Code is Protected under the First Amendment

[ Thanks to Rip Linton
for this link. ]

“On April 4 the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that
“computer source code is an expressive means for the exchange of
information and ideas about computer programming” and is thus
protected by the First Amendment.”

“While ruling on the issue of First Amendment claims, the
6th Circuit remanded the case back to the district court to
determine whether posting of the source code in question would
violate government encryption export regulations.”

“”We recognize that national security interests can outweigh
the interests of protected speech and require the regulation of
Chief Judge Boyce Martin Jr. wrote. “In the present
case, the record does not resolve whether the exercise of
presidential power in furtherance of national security interests
should overrule the interests in allowing the free exchange of
encryption source code.””