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International Crypto Campaign


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This is the home page of an international campaign aimed at influencing the cryptography policy outcome from the next major round of the Wassenaar Arrangement Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.

The campaign is focusing on lobbying the respective governments from as many as possible of the 33 Wassenaar nations.

Latest Developments

24th September
A campaign update has been issued that gives a brief update on progress.
20th September
A support page has been established to allow companies and associations to express their support for the Global Internet Liberty Campaign Member Statement calling for the removal of cryptography from the Wassenaar Arrangement.
A page with links to press coverage of the campaign has been established.
15th September
The Global Internet Liberty Campaign has released a Member Statement calling for the removal of cryptography from the Wassenaar Arrangement.
The Statement is available in several languages [DE] [EN] [ES] [FR].
There have been media releases announcing the release of the Statement [AU] [CA] [FR] [UK] [US].
GILC Member Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) have released a paper which presents details on why cryptography should be removed from the Wassenaar Arrangement, argued in terms of the purposes of the Wassenaar Arrangement itself.


Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) <http://www.efa.org.au> recently commenced a campaign <http://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/crypt98.html> aimed at liberalising current Australian controls over the export of cryptography products and ensuring that no domestic controls over the use of cryptography are introduced.

Crypto exports from Australia are regulated in accordance with the Wassenaar Arrangement, as they are in the other 32 nations who are signatory to the Arrangement. The Wassenaar Arrangement is a codification of strategic export controls. The text of the Arrangement is available at <http://www.parrhesia.com/wassenaar>, and the Wassenaar Secretariat has its own website at <http://www.wassenaar.org>.

Some nations, namely Australia, New Zealand, USA, France and Russia, go further than is required under Wassenaar and restrict general purpose cryptography software as dual-use goods. The Wassenaar Arrangement has had a significant impact on cryptography export controls and there seems little doubt that some of the Nations represented will seek to use the next round to move towards a more repressive cryptography export control regime.

EFA has been researching the policy position Australia is likely to take to the next round of discussions on Wassenaar. It appears that the Australian representative will propose that:

  1. Crypto using 40-bit keys should no longer be controlled (hardly a significant concession!).
  2. The scope of the General Software Note, which excludes shrink wrapped and public domain software from export control, to be narrowed so that crypto software is no longer exempted.
  3. Intangible exports, i.e. via the Internet, be brought under the Wassenaar umbrella. Currently only the US controls the export of intangibles.

EFA is totally opposed to the Australian government stance because of the adverse impact these proposals will have on electronic commerce, and on the security of private and commercial communications. EFA is working with others on an international basis to make sure that as many national representatives as possible are fully briefed on the impact of the existing controls and the proposed amendments. The campaign is lobbying for the removal of crypto export controls from the Wassenaar Arrangement.

The next round of Wassenaar talks will take place in Vienna. It is likely to have an 'experts group' meeting in September followed by a plenary session in November.

We are developing a concerted international input to the next round bearing in mind that there are 33 countries represented in Wassenaar:

The campaign is developing contacts in each of the above countries who are co-ordinating actions to seek government positions on Wassenaar to remove all controls on cryptography. National coordinator contact details and other country information is available on the country information page.

We are keen to contact people/organisations in countries where we do not yet have a national coordinator, and for people to work with the national coordinators in all of the Wassenaar nations. Anyone who wants to help with this International Campaign should get in touch.

If you have contacts who might be in a position to take up this cause we would be most grateful if you would forward this introduction and have them send their names and email addresses to "Michael Baker" <[email protected]>.


This page last updated on 22nd September 1998

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