Signing packages without violating restrictions/laws

Fred Wright fw at
Mon Apr 18 13:39:55 PDT 2016

On Mon, 18 Apr 2016, Mojca Miklavec wrote:

> This seems to be a problem for GPG though. Apparently USA export
> restrictions forbid exporting software that does cryptography (and
> some other countries might have import restrictions).

That's largely ancient history.

> I have a problem understanding those rules because we are not dealing
> with encrypted information, but merely use the same algorithms to
> verify authenticity of the packages. On the other hand I have problems
> believing that this problem really cannot be solved ... MacPorts
> apparently solved it.

Even in the days of the draconian export restrictions:

1) Export of *signing* software was permitted.  Though since signatures
are basically encrypted hashes, it could get "interesting" to determine
whether a given piece of software complied.

2) Export of encryption software was allowed, provided that it had a
sufficiently limited key size, e.g. 40-bit "export grade" keys.

3) That nonsense was mostly eliminated in 2000.  See, e.g.:

Nevertheless, the damage lingers.  Within the past year, three separate
major exploitable vulnerabilities in OpenSSL have been found, all in
relation to the support for "export grade" keys.

Fred Wright

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