Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1377 mails)
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[S.u.S.E. Linux] Crypto (was Re: S.u.S.E. Linux 5.3 package descriptions)
- From: mantel@xxxxxxx (Hubert Mantel)
- Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 17:40:56 +0200 (MEST)
- Message-id: <Pine.LNX.3.96.980813171858.7003W-100000@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thu, 13 Aug 1998 Ted.Harding@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> On 13-Aug-98 Lenz Grimmer wrote:
> > On Thu, 13 Aug 1998 Ted.Harding@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> >> > Cryptography restrictions.
> >> 1. By whom? I was not aware that PGP, for instance, was subject to the
> >> US RSA-type restrictions. So who is imposing this?
> >> 2. Does this mean, for instance, that the German edition will not be
> >> available
> >> at all in "English" countries? Otherwise, what is to stop people who want
> >> PGP etc from getting the German edition (as well as, if not instead of,
> >> the English one)?
> > The funny thing is, that the US export restrictions on cryprography
> > force us to leave out these packages out of the english version. This is
> > due to the fact, that all non-European orders are handled by our american
> > division, which would otherwise be unable to reexport the package, even if
> > they imported it from Germany. You can still download these packages from
> > a non-US ftp-Server. I hope, that this is understandable, my English seems
> > to be kind of weird today ;-)
> > I agree, that this sounds bizarre. I too was puzzled, the first time I
> > heard about this.
> Hi Lenz!
> Thank you for the explanation, which begins to make things a little clearer.
> I am still probing for the ultimate logic of this, so: two more questions.
> 3. I am in the UK which is a European country (though not "Schengen" -- does
> that matter?), and I order my S.u.S.E.s from Germany. I dare say people in
> some other Euro countries might prefer their distribution in the English
> language rather than German (nothing nationalistic -- just a matter of what
> languages you're most likely to have learned in your country).
> So this would not be a "non-European order". Why is an English version
> (for which you presumably have the files to hand in Germany) not able to
> be ordered from Germany? Or maybe it is available from Germany (not having
> to pass via the States)?
> 4. If the German version is available as a "European" order and does include
> the "hot" packages, why is an English-language version with the same
> packages not also available from Germany as a "European" order?
This is just a problem of handling (and of course of money). Currently we
only have one International version that is sold all around the world. So,
if you order an International version even from Germany, you'll get the
very same version as is shipped in the USA.
Of course you can explicitly order the German version, and you will get
it. But unfortunately it will contain the German handbook, which is not
what you want.
Shipping packages from Germany to Asia or South America is that expensive
that customers simply don't want to pay so much (what I understand).
We're currently considering several ways to address this problem. We set
up an ftp server in the free world (outside of the USA) where we provide
the offending packages for download. Maybe we will integrate some feature
into YaST that allows for automated download of the packages.
Another story is France; currently we're not sure whether we are allowed
to provide this software there at all (maybe you don't know, but in France
use of encryption is prohibited by law; you need some special license to
encrypt your data and almost nobody gets this license). It's impossible
for us to have a special version for every country in Europe.
> (And, by the way, my comment on PGP still stands: I am not aware that PGP
> is subject to the RSA restrictions. Am I wrong about this?)
We need to look into this. Currently I'm not sure if PGP may be exported
from the USA.
> While I agree that downloading these packages from a non-US ftp server is a
> fairly simple "work-round" there is a point of principle (as well as
> convenience) involved here. I am inclined to resist any unnecessary yielding to
> restrictiove pressure of these kinds. If it would be strictly illegal, then so
> be it: no-one wants to press S.u.S.E. to break any laws; but if it is legal to
> distribute a complete version in German then it seems to me that it has to be
> legal to distribute the equivalent in Emglish by the same means.
Yes, of course. But managing two different English versions is lots of
work and additional overhead. We have been under the impression that
people that need encryption have internet access and are not bothered too
much if they can simply download the offending software from some ftp
site. All packages missing on the International version can be obtained
from ftp.suse.de and from ftp.gwdg.de (very fast mirror).
It's very annoying to have all this extra work because of some idiotic US
> What I'm saying, in short, is that there can be a European-English version not
> subject to the restrictions of the US-ENglish version. I find it hard to
> swallow that the mere factor of which language is used can switch on the
> legal restrictions (except that S.u.S.E. may have decided for financial reasons
> that they will only manufacture the English version in the States -- but if that
> were the case then I'm afraid I might lose my taste for the hitherto excellent
> S.u.S.E. distribution; which would be a pity. One of the reasons S.u.S.E. was
> welcome is that it has been a _European_ Linux of high quality; if the only
> version I want to buy turns out to be yet another American Linux then ... ).
I understand. The current situation is very unsatisfying. Believe me: This
issue is much discussed here at S.u.S.E. and we will continue to look for
a good solution.
> With thanks again,
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