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[Caml-list] Cryptokit: cryptographic library for OCaml
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Date: 2002-04-05 (19:36)
From: Xavier Leroy <xavier.leroy@i...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Cryptokit: cryptographic library for OCaml
> Mmm, what are the legal restriction related to this ? Is it legal to
> distribute it in france (legislation may have changed since last i checked
> about such things a few years ago) ? Is it legal to distribute it from an US
> based server (i think yes, but you would need to declare the software to the
> NSA or something such).

I wish I knew for sure :-) I spent significant time reading the French
laws on the DCSSI Web site

(FYI, the DCSSI is roughly the French equivalent of the NSA.)

It appears that cryptographic means ("moyens de cryptographie",
whatever that means) are regulated differently depending on whether
they are used for authentication (passwords, signature, data
integrity), confidentiality (encryption), copy protection, in mobile
phones, for bank transactions, in spread-spectrum devices, etc.

>From this list, it appears that only whole software applications or
hardware devices are subject to regulations.  A library like my
Cryptokit doesn't by itself ensure authentication, confidentiality,
etc: this is a property of the application that uses it.  Cryptokit
just transforms streams of bytes in various ways.  Heck, you could use
the AES implementation it provides just to generate pseudo-random
numbers (don't laugh -- the PRNG in the library does exactly this).

So, I think I'm not violating any French regulation by distributing
this library.  Now, if you use it in a program, it is up to you to
make sure you comply with the law.  (E.g. a Caml-powered
spread-spectrum device is a no-no :-)

As for other countries, I haven't the least idea of their regulations.
To get definitive answers to your questions, you'll need to consult a
competent lawyer, not me.

- Xavier Leroy
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