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Re: US Encryption Policy Change Now Official!



On Fri, Jan 14, 2000 at 03:36:45PM -0500, Colin Walters wrote:
> >>>>> "Bear" == Bear Giles <bear@coyotesong.com> writes:
> 
>     Bear> I think that's what the ham radio licenses are intended to
>     Bear> address.  Operating a ham station without a license is a
>     Bear> criminal act.  Some licenses require special software to
>     Bear> operate, and this software has no use other than operation
>     Bear> of a specific type of ham station.  Therefore anyone using
>     Bear> the software must be planning to operate a ham station.
>     Bear> Therefore knowingly providing the software to someone
>     Bear> without a suitable license is aiding the commission of a
>     Bear> crime.
> 
> This is a very, very dangerous line of reasoning.  If you believe
> this, then you should probably believe that all software should
> include clauses restricting its use to only those activities which are
> legal in all countries.  Should GCC have a restriction preventing it
> from compiling software which could be used to crack into other
> computers?  If country X has a law against viewing any "adult
> pictures" on one's computer, should all of the image viewing software
> come with a restriction that you can't use it to view adult pictures?
> Who defines an "adult picture"?  What if definitions in different
> countries conflict?  Do you take the most restrictive?  The least
> restrictive?  The middle ground? 
> 
> It is impossible for one to be responsible for every concieveable use
> of one's software in all possible countries.  Therefore, software
> should be free of ridiculous restrictions like the one on the ham
> radio station software.

If one were to apply the logic that there should be a license
restriction on any software which could be used to control ham radio
equipment, it would also have to apply to the kernel!

I don't think so....

Furthermore, it takes specialized equipment in addition to software
(and in most cases no software is required) to operate a ham radio
station.

Bob (licensed ham operator since 1952)

-- 
Bob Nielsen, N7XY (ex-W6SWE)  (RN2)        nielsen@primenet.com
Tucson, AZ DM42nh  QRP-L #1985             http://www.primenet.com/~nielsen
 


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