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Date: 1998-08-28

Challenge: SecureOffice gegen Leviathan

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Es steht tatsächlich auf einem US Server & was es tut, ist
ganz offenbar illegal. Der es geschrieben hat, macht sich
über die Vorladungen der U.S. Behörden lustig von denen
letzte Woche eine fällig war. Tritt Charles Booher die
Nachfolge der Herren Zimmermann, Bernstein & Junger an -
allein gegen den Leviathan NSACIAPENTAGON?

SecureOffice arbeitet mit einer Oberfläche, die an früheste
Word/Versionen erinnert, doch unterhalb von
Grafik/Lakedaimon spielt es sich ziemlich ab. Triple DES,
kräftige 168 bit symmetrisch, der asymmetrische lässt sich
angeblich unendlich hinauf/frisieren, wobei die Generation
eines 2000 bit -keys schon ein paar Weilchen dauern kann.

post/scrypt an jene, die wissen, dass alle Geheimnisse der
Welt auf die Zahlen zwischen 0 und 1 zurück/zuführen sind:

1. Ist Charles Booher alles so egal, weil SecureOffice
bestimmte Andockstellen hat, die illegale Exporte
2. Wer will SecureOffice evaluieren?

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By Chris Oakes,
The US Department of Commerce is investigating a California
man over powerful data-scrambling software he created and
made available on his Web site. If indicted, his case could
become another test of federal policy restricting the export
of strong encryption.

Charles Booher, a 39-year-old programmer for a hard-disk
diagnostics company in Fremont was ordered to appear
Wednesday before a US District Court grand jury in San Jose.
But after spending the morning at the courthouse, Booher
said Thursday that he never got into the court room.

The US Attorney Anthony West prosecuting the case told
Booher that the court didn't have enough grand jurors, and
he was sent home. Booher was told he would hear from the
prosecutor in due course as to whether the case would
proceed or be dismissed.

Booher's hunch is that the delay may indicate a retreat by
the Commerce Department. "My source code has not been made
public yet, so it makes it hard for them to deal with."

The court order, which Booher also made available on his Web
site, [ ] ordered him to bring to
the hearing the programming code behind his encryption
software, SecureOffice. The product is a strong, 168-bit
Windows utility for making data unreadable. It is also
available in a version for Unix-based computers.

If charged for illegal export of encryption software, Booher
plans to fight. "They can either say we want to indict this
guy in which case ... I'll plead not guilty and go with a
First Amendment defense," he said.

Booher's case could signal another benchmark in the
evolution of US encryption policy. Other cases waged over
the issue are likely to be finally settled only by the US
Supreme Court.

An Ohio District Court ]
recently ruled in a case pitting the Commerce Department
against a Cleveland law professor, Peter Junger. Commerce
Department restrictions are legal, the judge ruled, and
cryptographic ciphers are not subject to First Amendment

That case was in direct contrast to a ruling by a federal
judge in San Francisco [ ] in
favor of Daniel L. Bernstein, a mathematician. Bernstein
successfully argued to the court that source code was
protected from restrictions in the same way the US
Constitution protects free speech. The diverging opinions
may put the issue on a course for final settlement by the
country's highest court.

If charged with illegally posting his software, Booher would
have to defend himself against prosecution by the Commerce
Department. In that way, his legal struggle would more
closely resemble the first, and most famous, crypto-export
case: the government's prosecution of Phil Zimmermann.

In the early '90s, Zimmermann authored a popular encryption
program, Pretty Good Privacy. He posted the code for PGP to
globally accessible Internet discussion groups in June 1991.
The act prompted a long federal investigation by a grand
jury over violation of encryption export rules. In January
1996, the Justice Department attorney investigating the case
announced without explanation that the case was being

"Zimmermann was under indictment for possibly exporting
without a license," said Cindy Cohn, lead attorney in the
challenge by cryptographer Bernstein. Cohn says Booher, like
it or not, could be the "next poster child for crypto."

"When you watched what happened to Zimmermann -- he was
investigated by a grand jury for five years -- it almost
bankrupted him," said Cohn.
full text

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Download free PGP 5.5.3i (Win95/NT & Mac)

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edited by Harkank
published on: 1998-08-28
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