Subject: Re: Free Canadian hosting of NetBSD International with strong crypto.
To: Herb Peyerl <>
From: Louis Bertrand <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 07/06/1999 14:21:33
Excuse me for barging in, normally I just lurk on this list.

The exception to the US ITAR export restriction is waived for Canada on
the condition that the material (be it munitions or strong crypto) not be
re-exported. In fact, the exception has been suspended for some categories
(sorry, not sure which) and this had made news recently (for example,
MacDonald Dettwiler's RadarSat project is in trouble). OpenBSD's crypto
code is free of the export restriction because it wasn't created in the
USA. Same goes for the Linux FreeS/WAN IPSec project.
The freedom of speech ruling is limited to the Ninth Circuit Court
jurisdiction (whatever that may be), and is based on Prof. Bernstein's
right to earn a living as a researcher and teacher, in the context of a
web-based course he offers. It has nothing to do with relaxing the ITAR
rules, unless the US government does it voluntarily.

The only legal way to export strong crypto from the USA is by publishing
the source in a book (or any non-electronic format) and scanning it
outside the country. That's how PGP is exported. In fact, OpenBSD sells a
t-shirt printed with the Blowfish algorithm.

Of course, once you add patent law to the picture, it gets even messier
(for example RSA & SSL).


Louis Bertrand  <> 
Bertrand Technical Services, Bowmanville, ON, Canada  Tel: +1.905.623.8925  Fax: +1.905.623.3852

OpenBSD: Because security matters.

On Tue, 6 Jul 1999, Herb Peyerl wrote:

> Alicia da Conceicao <>  wrote:
>  > In Canada we have the odd situation in that it is legal for Americans
>  > to export strong crypto to Canada, and for Canadians to export strong
>  > crypto to the rest of the world.  This is something that the OpenBSD
>  > folk take advantage of.  Americans in the NetBSD core can openly upload
>  > (export) strong crypto to a Canadian ftp/web server, which anyone in
>  > the world can download from, without breaking any US laws.
> Beware other BSD developers with cheap lawyers.