Felix Stalder on Tue, 8 Dec 1998 23:14:26 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Cyperpunks vs. US government

[For some general information on the latest crypto-policy initiative, see
telepolis http://www.heise.de/tp ]

--- begin forwarded text

To: cryptography@c2.net, gnu@toad.com
Subject: Building crypto archives worldwide to foil US-built Berlin Walls
Date: Mon, 07 Dec 1998 15:23:54 -0800
From: John Gilmore <gnu@toad.com>
Sender: owner-cryptography@c2.net

The US Wassenaar initiative is an attempt to deny the public not only all
future strong crypto developments, but all existing ones.  As today's
message from Denmark makes clear, the freedom-hating bureaucrats are
threatening to prosecute a citizen merely for publishing PGP on his web

Let's at least ensure that they don't eliminate *today's* strong crypto,
by replicating crypto archives behind each Berlin Wall they threaten to
erect.  Today we depend on a small number of archives (in a small number
of countries) containing source and binaries for PGP, SSH, Kerberos,
cryptoMozilla, IPSEC, and many other useful crypto tools that we use

Let's replicate these archives in many countries.  I call for volunteers
in each country, at each university or crypto-aware organization, to
download crypto tools while they can still be exported from where they
are, and then to offer them for export from your own site and your own
country as long as it's legal.  (The Wassenaar agreement is not a law;
each country has merely agreed to try to change its own laws, but that
process has not yet started.)

And if at some future moment your own government makes it illegal for you
to publish these tools, after all your appeals are denied, all the
pro-bono court cases rejected, and all the newspaper coverage you can get
has been printed, then restrict your web site so that only your own
citizens can get the tools.  That'll still be better than the citizens of
your country having NO access to the tools of privacy! 

(I suggest putting these tools on a Web site on a machine that you own,
rather than on a web site where you buy space from someone else. That way
there'll be nobody for the freedom-squashers to threaten except you.)

I'm sure that John Young's excellent http://jya.com site will be happy to
provide an index of crypto archives around the world, if people will send
him notices at jya@pipeline.com as your sites come up. (Each archive
should locally mirror this list, so that we won't depend on a single

Rather than having their desired effect of squelching crypto distribution,
perhaps their overbold move can inspire us to increase strong crypto
distribution tenfold, by making it clear to the public that if you don't
keep a copy on your own hard drive, the governments of the world will be
merciless in scheming to deny you access to it. And if crypto developers
have to publish on books, or rely on smugglers to get crypto from country
to country, then at least each country will have its distribution
arrangements already ready for when the book is scanned or the smuggler

	John Gilmore

--- end forwarded text

[this is a reply to tha call for action above]

--- begin forwarded text

Date: Tue, 08 Dec 1998 09:09:04 -0500
To: cypherpunks@EINSTEIN.ssz.com
From: John Young <jya@pipeline.com>
Subject: Re: Building crypto archives worldwide to foil US-built Berlin
  Walls (fwd)

In response to John Gilmore's call for a foil to US-Wassenaar restrictions
acoming, we've put up a preliminary list of international cryptography
sources for mirroring: 


This is a quick starter-kit and is far from comprehensive. Contributions

Ken Williams offers an impressive (177MB) crypto/stego archive:


--- end forwarded text
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