rotor replacement

Bengt Richter bokr at
Thu Jan 20 07:51:18 CET 2005

On 19 Jan 2005 17:09:19 -0800, Paul Rubin <> wrote:

>Robin Becker <robin at> writes:
>> > Presumably he is talking about crypo-export rules.  In the past strong
>> > cryptography has been treated as munitions, and as such exporting it
>> > (especially from the USA) could have got you into very serious
>> > trouble.
>> well since rotor is a german (1930's) invention it is a bit late for
>> Amricans (Hollywood notwithstanding) to be worried about its export
>1. I think the concern was not about exporting from the US, but rather
>importing into some countries that restrict the use of crypto.  But
>the cat is out of the bag on that one too.  Just about every web
>browser includes an SSL stack and those browsers are in use
Isn't the SSL dependent on OS or at least shared lib support?
Wasn't there a default 40-bit version that was ok (weak), but you had
to declare yourself US resident to download 128-bit support?
I dimly recall encountering this sort of thing installing Netscape
a long time ago, I think. Is 128 just standard now? And now that 128
is wobbly(?), will the same thing be replayed with the ante upped?

>2. It's irrelevant for the purpose of export rules how old an
>invention is or where it was invented.  I don't know where machine
>guns were invented, but they're at least 100 years old and you can't
>export those without a license either.  My gripe with the crypto rules
>are not about the age or nationality of crypto rotor machines (rotor
>is not a clone of the Enigma by the way; it just operates on related
>principles) but rather on the control of information in general.
I can easily conceive of information that I'd rather not see publicized
without severe access controls. But in general I do believe in open sharing
of free information as the most productive for everyone.

>Exporting a machine gun is much different from publishing a
>description of one.  Software is just a precise type of description.
Yeah, but ... ;-)

Bengt Richter

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