Bernstein v. US Department of Justice
While a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley, Bernstein completed the development of an encryption equation (an "algorithm") he calls "Snuffle." Bernstein wishes to publish a) the algorithm (b) a mathematical paper describing and explaining the algorithm and (c) the "source code" for a computer program that incorporates the algorithm. Bernstein also wishes to discuss these items at mathematical conferences, college classrooms and other open public meetings. The Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (the ITAR regulatory scheme) required Bernstein to submit his ideas about cryptography to the government for review, to register as an arms dealer, and to apply for and obtain from the government a license to publish his ideas. Failure to do so would result in severe civil and criminal penalties. Bernstein believes this is a violation of his First Amendment rights and has sued the government.
After four years and one regulatory change, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that software source code was speech protected by the First Amendment and that the government's regulations preventing its publication were unconstitutional.
Short declaration in which Prof. Bernstein demonstrates conclusively that source code is communicative as well as functional, by supplying a short COBOL program that is easily readable and understandable by a person, as well as a computer.
WHAT: Press Conference
Immediately following oral arguments in front of Federal Judge
Marilyn Hall Patel, Professor Dan Bernstein, his lawyer and the
Electronic Frontier Foundation will hold a press conference. After
brief statements issued by each, there will be a media question and
Amendment to the 970113 stipulation, to add a "UIC dorm" network number to the set of networks permitted to access Prof. Bernstein's crypto class Web site....
Bernstein's opposition to the Government motion which asks the judge to reconsider her decision that the State Dept. crypto export controls are unconstitutional....
Brief argument about why we should be permitted to amend the complaint.
Proposed order accepting the supplemental complaint.
Stipulation between Bernstein and Secretary of Commerce that he will not be harmed for teaching cryptography to his students in Spring 1997, nor for giving them software (including source code), nor for running a software distribution site restricted to access from the UIC computer network.
Addition to our original complaint, adding the Administration's new Commerce Department crypto export controls to the list of challenged laws and regulations....
Electronic Frontier Foundation Contacts:
Shari Steele, Staff Attorney
+1 301 375 8856, email@example.com
John Gilmore, Founding Board Member
+1 415 221 6524, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cindy Cohn, McGlashan & Sarrail
+1 415 341 2585, email@example.com
San Francisco - Laywers for Professor Dan Bernstein today...
Letter from Bernstein's counsel asking the government to stipulate to not enforcing the Commerce Department regulations until they have been reviewed by the court for Constitutionality....