Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Encryption Security

France Opening Crypto Restrictions 26

lstep writes "French Prime Minister said it all: "Complete liberty of cryptograhy in France" (well 128 bits). Going from 40 to 128 bits is such a pleasure, and no need to give my keys to any authority for verification ! Documents are on (in French, sorry): here and here. I love France! " Hear that Uncle Sam? Pay Attention!
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

France Opening Crypto Restrictions

Comments Filter:
  • by Trepidity ( 597 )
    Hear that Uncle Sam? Pay Attention!

    Umm, go back and read the article one more time. The US still allows more freedom of cryptography than France does. This bill will not ease export restrictions from France, just allow people in France to use cryptography themselves, something that we can already do in the US.
  • Now I'll be able to exchange encrypted E-mails with my parents... They're missionaries in France and, though they aren't French citizens, they're still subject to the laws of France because they live there.

    This is very good news for me.
  • Is anyone interested in me doing a hand-translation on these things, or is babelfish good enough for you? If you prefer to stick to babelfish, then I won't bother.
    (email jnieho38@calvin.edu)
  • I read too fast the text. There will be no keysize
    limitation when the law will be voted. But
    meanwhile, the maximum keysize will go from 40 to 128 bits...

  • It'll take a couple of years. Why do I say this?

    Well, consider that this law only affects France. The rest of the world doesn't have this privilege. However, the law makes France an example. When crime does not rise significantly more and what rise there is (if any) cannot be blamed on crypto, governments will lose their only valid excuse to limit it: fear of encryption use in crime. This will spark protests which can only lead to free encryption for everyone, eventually.

    So, we need to do whatever's possible tohelp this process along. Those Slashdotters who live in France can do much, but there's got to be something the others can do.
  • Ouais la France est le meilleur pays du monde, je l'savait :o) La France c'est cool!
    Un p'tit sauterne avec du foie gras (d'oie) pour fêter ça, hop!

    Allons enfants de la patriiiiieeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuu
  • Looks like is not rumours anymore. They now have to submit it to the parliament, but that should pose no problem.

    The second document is interesting, it covers a different topic. Translated excerpt:

    1. To clarify the problem of author's right and multimedia

    Note that "droit d'auteur" is slightly different from Intellectual Th^H^HProperty. It recognizes the role of the author as opposed to that of the owner of patents / copyright. Here, the author of an art work as a right (not necessarily monetary) even if he sold the work to someone else.

    3. To accelerate free access to essential cultural data
    (...) priority to the needs of the public(...)
    A cultural "portal" will be created(...) It will be proposed as a free hosting service for cultural organizations under partnership with the govt.(...)

    All of this seems extremely interesting as it sounds like it does not carry anything like it would have been influenced by commercial lobbies.

  • France making a sensible policy decision?

    Hell must have frozen over.

    Expect Microsoft to open its source in the
    next few days.
  • Get your grammar right. French is almost as syntactically annoying as, say C.
    • "'S called the Vieux River."
    • "Yes?"
    • "Know what that means?"
    • "No."
    • "The Old (Masculine) River," said Nanny.
    • "Yes?"
    • "Words have sex in foreign parts," said Nanny hopefully.
    (Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad)
  • It's a great step forward, but still some bad points:

    • no complete freedom (still limited to 128 bits)
    • export controlled for anything over 56 bits, and
    • "declarative process will be simplfied", seeming to imply that you'll still (in theory) have to declare your use of crypto.
    France remains a not-so-free country regarding crypto.
  • calm down. France's crypto-liberty is still significantly lower than the US's, according to this article. Not that teh US is such a great place for crypto, seeing that you can't export anything truly secure.

    (and it's "la France", btw)

  • Note first that none of this has been implemented. It requires legislative reform, which can easily end up coopted by the business-as-usual mentality.

    Second, note that we are only talking about 128 bit encryption, and it's not clear whether it will apply to all 128 bit encryption or (more likely) a set of approved programs. Since they are limiting the number of bits, they will require you to use an encryption program on the 'approved' list.

    Third, note again that export is disallowed for anything stronger than 56-bit encryption, which is certainly not a strength of encryption which is safe from prying eyes.

    Fourth (and this is unclear from my reading since I have no French and must rely on highly imperfect translations), some form of beefed-up law enforcement capability is included. Not sure what that's about, but it's unlikely to be good news.

    Rob Levin
    Head of Operations, Open Projects Net

    "Open source, open technology, open information"

  • France is a genuine FREE country, where liberty does not have to be bought.

    -- ----------------------------------------------
    Vive le logiciel... Libre!!!

  • You managed to put several pieces of desinformation in this little sentence. If this wasn't your intention, then I suggest you to change your sources of information. May I point to you that the US press, in general, is a very bad source for foreign news?

    France didn't sue anybody. Some private association denounced an alleged infringement of the law. The whole thing didn't even get judged because that association didn't even file their complaint properly.

    The alleged fact that this association received government subsidies is irrelevant. First, the government by itself can ask for penal inquiries without needing some private association to file a complaint. Second, dozens of associations get some subsidies; these are usually targeted at funding some precise project led by those associations and do not mean a general endorsement of their policies by the government.

    Second: the accusation was not publishing a WWW site in English, but publishing ADVERTISEMENT in English only. The laws on wrongful advertisement in France are strict, and it was thought some years ago that it might be prudent to request at least subtitles on foreign language advertisements.

    Whether or not the Georgia Tech Lorraine site contained advertisements targeted at the general French public was not judiciarily investigated.

    Ah, also. The French government and its agencies publish WWW sites in multiple languages. I've yet to see US government official sites in French.
  • It seems it is only a temporary restriction that will apply while they are creating a legal context to handle cryptography. The objective is no restriction at all with no third party.
  • Hmmm, finding a general solution to breaking ANY 128-bit algorithm is (and it's reasonably safe to say this) quite close to impossible given any known technology today.

    2^128 is a very very very big number. There is no way any government can break every 128-bit algorithm. Maybe some specific ones because of specific weaknesses, but not all of them.

UNIX is many things to many people, but it's never been everything to anybody.