News & Views
[2001-12-18] Is There a Lawyer in the House? World-wide Export for Password Corral?

While my knowledge of US law is pretty much limited to what I watch on TV's "Law & Order", as I understand it, export of cryptographic materials outside of the USA or Canada is prohibited. To my knowledge this restriction was relaxed not that long ago, but requires permission from the government.

I briefly looked into this process several months back and found that it would require more work and government red tape than I could deal with. While I'm sure there are other vendors that skirt this law by simply keeping a low profile, I decided to play it safe and have written restrictions on this website and within Password Corral that indicate the program may only be used by residents of the US and Canada.

As work progresses on the next major release of Password Corral, it would be great if I could remove this restriction and allow world-wide use of the program, but there's still that nagging problem of figuring out what needs to get filed with the appropriate government agencies to allow this to happen.

If you're a lawyer with the requisite knowledge to navigate the red tape in this area, and have a fetish for doing pro bono work for people who release freeware software, I'd love to hear from you! If this is basically a process of filling out the right forms, sending them off and waiting for Uncle Sam to get it in gear, and you're willing to help, feel free to e-mail me at and tell me the good news. Since Cygnus Productions isn't a real company and only a name I distribute my freeware under, and since the "company" generates no revenue and I have to work a day job just like most everyone else in the world, all I can offer in return is my eternal gratitude and your name permanently in the Password Corral "About" box.

If you have knowledge that this is a truly complicated procedure, would cost a lot of money to do and is really something that only a large company would have the resources to do, I would still appreciate hearing from you so that I know to not even bother with trying to get export permission in the future.

Thanks for your consideration and to everyone for your continued support.

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