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Re: Non-US packets

On Thu, Jan 04, 2001 at 05:20:42PM +0100, Christoph Weidemann wrote:
> I was wondering about the non-US strong encrytion packages. What would
> happen if I installed the Software on a laptop and travelled to the
> USA. As I understand that should not be a problem as long as I (or at
> leas my laptop :o)) stay in the USA, but what if I want to leave the
> USA again ... would I have to deinstall everything? Would it make any
> difference if I left the USA for, say, only one week?

Honestly, I don't know.

If you don't tell people what software you have on the laptop, and
there's no other reason for customs to hassle you, you should be fine.

The author of PGP was regularly hassled by customs for quite a while,
but as I understand it, that's not supposed to happen any more.

> I would appreciate any help on this issue. Also, do the package differ
> in "badness" as far as the USA is concerned (e.g. is it a worse crime
> to export package A than it is to export package B, both packages
> being in the non-USA package ... what are the fines/punishments?).

If the regulations were clear, and made sense, they'd probably have been
ruled unconstitutional quite a while ago.

I think there is a threshold on the number of bits of encryption which
are legal to take out of the country. I'm not sure what it's currently
set at -- probably 64.

As far as I know, there's no regulations against bringing encryption
software into the country.  [Yeah, encryption software is classified
as a weapon, but the regulations are designed at preventing information
leakage, so there's no import controls.]

Good luck,


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