23 November 1997

Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 15:54:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Phil Karn <karn@qualcomm.com>
To: cryptography@c2.net
Subject: BXA denies my administrative appeal

My web page now has the text of a letter from William Reinsch,
Commerce Undersecretary for Export Control, upholding our
administrative appeal of BXA's earlier finding that the Applied
Cryptography source code diskette is an Encryption Item (EI) under the
new Commerce rules.

The URL is


Absolutely no surprises here, though the tone of BXA's response belies
a certain increasing desperation.  They again repeat their
self-serving claim that controls on machine-readable crypto source
code are imposed because of its "functional capacity" as opposed to
its "informational value". Perhaps they think that if they say it
enough, they'll eventually overcome logic, reason and common sense.

I've met Reinsch in person and have heard him testify.  I'm actually
beginning to feel a little sorry for the guy. I certainly don't envy
his job.  He has to publicly defend -- with a straight face -- a
government policy that even he certainly must realize is utterly
ridiculous. Yet he must keep a straight face while the whole world
laughs at him.

We are now free to go back to Judge Oberdorfer's court to continue our
challenge of the new BXA rules. Stay tuned.