Feeds

Feds relax export curbs on open-source crypto

Hold the applause

Boost IT visibility and business value

Federal restrictions will be relaxed on the export of open-source software that incorporates strong encryption, the US government announced on Friday in a lengthy disclosure.

The effect of the changes announced in the US Federal Register is that cryptography software now may be exported to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan as long as the source code from which it was derived is already “publicly available”. To qualify for the exemption, exporters must first notify the federal government exactly where the code is located.

“It's a lot of words, but it actually has a very modest impact,” Roszel Thomsen, an attorney who represents software companies, told The Register. “That removes restrictions on exports to embargoed countries which frankly weren't big markets for US exporters anyway.”

The tweak comes as industry and public interest groups have chafed for years at a battery of rules spelled out under the EAR, or Export Administration Regulations. It requires companies and individuals in the US to follow a series of steps before making cryptographic software available abroad.

Chief among critics' complaints: The EAR applies to virtually all cryptographic software unless expressly exempted. They argue the regimen should be turned around so that the software is exempted unless specifically subject to export control.

“It's like Gulliver being tied down by a thousand strings, each one of which could be individually snapped, but collectively severely handicap the range of motion of companies and individuals in this space,” Thomsen, a partner with Thomsen and Burke, said. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?