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SubjectRe: unusual startup messages

On 31 Oct 1996, Matthijs Corpeleijn wrote:

> Date: 31 Oct 96 16:26:00
> From: Matthijs Corpeleijn <>
> To: linux-kernel <>
> Subject: Re: unusual startup messages
> >> ->one more question, is steganography and DES/IDEA crypt going to be
> >> ->incorporated into the kernel in 2.1.x, or are there problems with having
> >> ->cryptography in the kernel?
> >> I don't think Linus is in favour this this.
> >I think it's more of it's written in the US, and getting it in the kernel
> >requires exporting it, which is illegal (tho reimplamenting it is legal,
> >as is exporting a description of what needs doing, and I suspect that a
> >patch is more than a description).
> Hmmm.. I don't really get this bit of information. You're saying the kernel is
> written in the US, which it's not, so that couldn't be a reason.
> It's absolutely right though, that according to the ammunition law of the US,
> the im- and export of DES encryption software, or DES encrypted data is
> illegal, unless you have a good reason and a permit to do so. Building it in
> the kernel isn't a problem, sending it to people in Europe isn't a problem
> either, but people from the US, and Linus himself, would be prosecutable if
> anyone downloaded that kernel that resides in the US. (Completely moronic laws?
> Yes.. But it is no different)

Not quite.

The US laws are against the EXPORTING of amunition... not against import.
The problem is that if DES was in the kernel, then noone outside the US
could download the kernel from inside the US, without making the archive site
prosecutable. Would you like to see the linux kernel sources look like PGP at
MIT? However, as IPv6 gets standardised, either the US allows the security
required for IPv6, or the US gets routed around. And since there are a LOT of
big companys interested in upgrading to IPv6 (Sprint, MCI, etc) I think either
the US will change the restrictions, or (more likely) security will become

Oh, since Linus may (will?) be moving to the US, that is another major
problem... Hey, perhaps we could get him an export license!


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