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Newsgroups: alt.politics.libertarian
From: (Nick Szabo)
Subject: PGP Customs investigation subpoena
Message-ID: <>
Summary: Crackdown against free crypto?
Keywords: PGP, cryptography, privacy
Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 241-9760 guest)
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1993 09:33:07 GMT
Lines: 61

Forwarded message:
>From Fri Sep 17 00:34:20 1993
From: Philip Zimmermann <p...@columbine.cgd.ucar.EDU>


On Tuesday, 14 September 93, Leonard Mikus, president of ViaCrypt,
also known as LEMCOM Systems, in Phoenix, Arizona, was served a
Subpoena to Testify Before Grand Jury, to produce documents.  The
subpoena was issued by the US District Court of Northern California,
by Assistant US Attorney William P. Keane in San Jose, as part of an
investigation from the San Jose office of US Customs, conducted by
Special Agent Robin Sterzer.  The US Attorney above Keane is Michael
J. Yamaguchi.

ViaCrypt is the company that will be selling a fully licensed
commercial version of PGP, starting in November.  ViaCrypt has a
license from PKP to sell products that embody the patents held by
PKP.  That includes PGP, using the RSA algorithm.

The subpoena, dated 9 September, orders the production of "Any and
all correspondence, contracts, payments, and records, including those
stored as computer data, involving international distribution related
to ViaCrypt, PGP, Philip Zimmermann, and anyone or any entity acting
on behalf of Philip Zimmermann for the time period June 1, 1991 to
the present."  The date specified for the production of documents is
22 September 93.

The written agreement between ViaCrypt and myself explicitly states
that US State Department cryptographic export controls will be
adhered to.

The implications of this turn of events are that this US Customs
investigation has escalated to the level of a Federal Grand Jury and
a US Attorney.  US Customs says that this change was precipitated by
a ruling recently handed down from the State Department that PGP is
not exportable.  Other subpoenas and/or search warrants are expected.

I am the principal target of the investigation.  I have advised EFF,
CPSR, and my other attorneys of the situation.  A legal defense fund
will be set up by my lead attorney (Phil Dubois, 303 444-3885) here
in Boulder. 

This case raises some serious public policy questions regarding First
Amendment rights to publish, rights to privacy as affected by
widespread availability of cryptographic technology, the equivalance
of electronic publication with paper publication, the availablity of
lawful domestic cryptographic technology in the face of export
controls, and certain other Constitutional rights.  This may turn into
the test case for these issues.

-Philip Zimmermann
 303 541-0140

Nick Szabo

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