Dubois’ correspondence

    Dubois’ correspondence



    Dubois’ correspondence

    On this page…

    This page has some letters from Philip Dubois to various folks in the PGP world.

    All correspondence that appears here was forwarded to me by Dubois his own charming self.

    (re: article in S. F. Daily Journal

    (re: Scott Leib’s article)

    (re: PRZ’s legal situation)

    (re: Simson’s article)

    Jim Evans

    22 August 1994



    (Philip L. Dubois)

    Subject: Zimmermann article

    Mr. Evans–

    I write concerning your excellent 27 April 95 article in the San Francisco Daily Journal.

    I have only some nits to pick.

    First, Mr. Zimmermann did not miss five mortgage payments because of the investigation; he missed five mortgage payments while he was finishing PGP version 1.0 back in 1991.

    While the investigation has had plenty of unfortunate effects, missed mortgage payments haven’t been among them.

    Second, the matter of who initially put PGP on the Internet:

    it’s true that Mr. Zimmermann did not personally upload PGP to the Net or any BBS or anywhere else, but this is not the issue.

    We’re not pointing a finger at anyone else.

    Mr. Zimmermann’s intent was to make PGP available to U.S. citizens, and measures were taken to restrict distribution to the U.S. only. (These measures proved ineffective, as did those taken by M.I.T. in making the current version of PGP available on the Internet.)

    What is relevant are the questions “who exported PGP?” and, given the borderless Internet, “what is an export?” If we’re indicted, the government will try to establish for the first time the proposition that posting to the Internet is an export. Dangerous proposition.

    Thank you for an outstanding article on a subject about which more people than just Mr. Zimmermann are deeply concerned.

    Philip L. Dubois

    Counsel for Philip Zimmermann

    NetGuide (re: Scott Leib)


    Subject: Zimmermann article

    I write regarding Scott Leibs’ excellent article (“The Secret Sharer”) in your May ’95 issue.

    Given Mr. Zimmermann’s current legal situation, I am compelled to make some remarks.

    First, Mr. Zimmermann did make PGP available for free, but not to “anyone”; his intention was that it be available to U.S. citizens.

    He did this in response to a Senate bill (S.B. 266) that contained some very disturbing anti-privacy language.

    Measures were taken to restrict the distribution of PGP to the U.S.

    (These measures proved ineffective, as did those taken by M.I.T. when it made the current version of PGP available on the Internet.)

    Mr. Zimmermann was aware that PGP had been posted on the Internet, but as you say, he could not prevent others from exporting it– except by not making it available at all.

    Second, I don’t think that the government will push the legal envelope so far as to prosecute Mr. Zimmermann simply for developing PGP; instead, the government will have to prove that Mr. Zimmermann exported and/or conspired to export PGP.

    Even this theory of prosecution is a test of the legal envelope, because there is no law on this point.

    If Mr. Zimmermann is indicted, the government will try to establish for the first time the legal proposition that a post to the Internet is an export.

    Because this is a dangerous proposition, and because new law should be made legislatively and not in criminal prosecutions, we hope that the government will decide not to indict.

    Philip L. Dubois

    Counsel for Philip Zimmermann

    Asdrad TORRES


    (Asdrad TORRES)

    Subject: Re: Prosecution because of PGP (fwd)

    M. Torres–

    Mr. Zimmermann has forwarded to me your inquiry about his legal situation.

    In brief, here it is:

    The U.S. government defines cryptographic software as a “munition”, just as it does various weapons and other technology.

    U.S. law forbids the export of munitions without a license.

    Violation of this law is a federal felony offense, meaning that the violator may be sent to prison for up to ten years and fined up to one million dollars.

    In the early months of 1991, Philip Zimmermann finished work on his computer program called PGP– .

    This program relied on public-key cryptography, a relatively new breakthrough in cryptography, to encrypt electronic-mail messages.

    It permitted people to communicate with each other by email and to be sure that their communications were private.

    In June of 1991, PGP was released.

    It was posted on the Internet.

    Despite measures taken to prevent the export of PGP, it quickly made its way around the world.

    It now appears to be the standard for encrypted email communications.

    For at least the past two years, the U.S. Customs Service has conducted an investigation to determine whether Philip Zimmermann violated the export law.

    Specifically, the government wants to determine whether Mr. Zimmermann posted PGP on the Internet and if so, that such posting is a crime.

    Mr. Zimmermann has not yet been charged with any crime, and we hope that the government will not charge him.

    It could be some time before the government decides whether to indict (charge) Mr. Zimmermann.

    Meanwhile, other lawyers and I continue to work on our client’s defense.

    We are grateful to those who have contributed to the legal-defense fund, and we continue to be in need of such contributions.

    If you wish, I will send a message about the fund that was written by Professor Hugh Miller.

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

    Philip L. Dubois

    Counsel for Philip Zimmermann

    Simson Garfinkel & Wired Magazine

    Date: Thu, 02 Mar 1995


    Subject: Zimmermann


    I write regarding Simson Garfinkel’s piece– “The Continuing Investigation of Phil Zimmermann”– in Wired 3.03.

    It is true that Mr. Zimmermann was detained and interrogated by U.S. Customs on his return from Europe.

    It is true that he was interrogated, in the absence of counsel, about matters related to the ongoing Customs investigation even though Customs was well aware that Mr. Zimmermann is represented by counsel.

    And it is true that he was promised similar treatment every time he returns to the U.S.

    It is not true, however, that Mr. Zimmermann went to Europe “to tell the world how to use PGP”.

    He went to Europe to talk about public policy issues, and that’s all he talked about.

    He specifically did not discuss technical matters, including the operation of PGP, at all.

    US cryptographers have routinely attended cryptography conferences overseas to discuss technical matters.

    But those cryptographers have not felt the chill of an investigation that could result in a federal felony indictment.

    Philip L. Dubois

    Counsel for Philip Zimmermann

    Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me . Thanks!









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