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10 December 1998: Add Dan's postscript.

7 December 1998

Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 16:58:49 +1000
Subject: Wassenaar changes

[OK to repost to crypto lists and Cryptome - dant]

I spoke this afternoon with one of the Australian delegates at the
Wassenaar meeting, an official from the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Speaking off the record, they confirmed the changes at Wassenaar are pretty
much as we know already:
     - NEW CONTROLS on mass market crypto products (hardware and software);
     - DEREGULATING all weak encryption products using key lengths up to 56
     - EXEMPTING mass market software where the key length is 64 bits or
     - EXTENDING the same mass market exemption to hardware for the first
     - EXCLUDING encryption products that protect intellectual property,
     such as digital watermarking;
     - NO DECISION was made about regulating 'intangible' distribution of
     technology, including Internet downloads.

Apparently in the short term the intangibles issue is being considered in
other fora (including the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) which includes
Australia thanks to Filthy Jabilucre et al).

It is still not clear whether the new restrictions are intended to stop
public domain software such as PGP*. The DFAT contact said there was no
discussion about an intention to stop public domain packages like PGP. They
did not think public domain was being restricted. Yet apparently the
Australian DoD has expressed the David Aaron view that public domain is
subject to the same restrictions as mass market.

* PGP is "in the public domain" for the purposes of Wassenaar/DSGL, since
the definition states:
     "in the public domain" (GTN NTN GSN), as it applies herein, means
     "technology" or "software" which has been made available without
     restrictions upon its further dissemination (copyright restrictions do
     not remove "technology" or "software" from being "in the public

Note: there is no equivalent definition for "mass market", but the General
Software Note (GSN) states it thus:
     Generally available to the public by being:
        1. Sold from stock at retail selling points, without restriction,
        by means of:
          a. Over-the-counter transactions;
          b. Mail order transactions; or
          c. Telephone order transactions; and
        2. Designed for installation by the user without substantial
        support by the supplier;

Dan Tebbutt, Technology Journalist, Melbourne Australia
Australian Personal Computer (
LAN Corporate IT (
The Australian (
Ph: +61-3-9347-8893 Fax:+61-2-9264-6320
"The revolution will be televised ... on pay-per-view."

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 15:05:52 +1000 Subject: Public Domain and Wassenaar Apparently the Australian Dept of Defence spokesperson, speaking off the record, has conceded he was wrong and that Public Domain is *NOT* covered by the new changes. Small mercies. Dan