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Re: Crypto controls (More problems for non-US?)

On Fri, 4 Dec 1998, Jon K Hellan wrote:

> However, it is not true that the 33 countries *have* made exportation of
> encryption technologies illegal. They have *agreed to do so*, which is a
> different matter.

Indeed, in The Netherlands, a law must pass in both Houses of Parliament
before it is accepted.

Furthermore, I could not find any contact information for The Netherlands
on the www.wassenaar.org site.  There is no evidence on the site to their
statements that the dutch government is officially involved with it.

It seems most likely that some splinter-group of some department of some
dutch government institution might be involved.  Very likely, this group
is either exceptionally receptive to Big Brother-ish tendencies or has
been leaned upon heavily by US spook lobby-groups, or probably both.

This does not mean at all that any statement made by the Wassenaar group
(whoever hides behind it) has any legal meaning or consequence in The
Netherlands.  At most, it could mislead some ignorant burocrat
(unfortunately, there seem to be a lot of those.)

To repeat once more, law in the Netherlands is made by parliament, not by
any shimmery organisation.  Even if the wassenaar FUD (because that's
what it really is) leads to any proposal for law, it is still very
unlikely that ridiculous laws will pass easily.  Even if passed in any
European country, such law could next be challenged at European level -
and very likely successfully too.

There is far more democratic involvement in The Netherlands than in the
United States and the ECHELON activities that were reported on recently
by the European Parliament are not looked upon particularly favorably in
major opinion-leading newspapers.



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