Laptop encryption and international travel

    Date21 Dec 2000
    CategoryCryptography
    3321
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    The restrictions on using PC encryption products are far more lenient than those on importing software or hardware encryption for distribution or resale. In France, for example, the law states that upon entry to the country, travelers must register their decryption . . . The restrictions on using PC encryption products are far more lenient than those on importing software or hardware encryption for distribution or resale. In France, for example, the law states that upon entry to the country, travelers must register their decryption keys with "authorities." In practice, however, reports are that no one knows where one should register. Certainly, I have traveled through the U.K., France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Germany within the last few years and have never even been asked at the border about encryption software on my computer.

    With the relaxation of U.S. crypto export laws and the Wassenaar Arrangement for harmonizing international regulations on cryptography usage, I expect to see this problem recede into unimportance.

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