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Feds relax export curbs on open-source crypto

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Security

Federal restrictions will be relaxed on the export of open-source software that incorporates strong encryption, the US government announced on Friday in a lengthy disclosure.

The effect of the changes announced in the US Federal Register is that cryptography software now may be exported to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan as long as the source code from which it was derived is already “publicly available”. To qualify for the exemption, exporters must first notify the federal government exactly where the code is located.

“It's a lot of words, but it actually has a very modest impact,” Roszel Thomsen, an attorney who represents software companies, told The Register. “That removes restrictions on exports to embargoed countries which frankly weren't big markets for US exporters anyway.”

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