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Firm Allowed to Export Encryption Software

May 30, 1997|(Reuters)

Pretty Good Privacy Inc., which makes computer encoding and decoding software, said it has Commerce Department approval to export the product to a limited group of companies. The San Mateo company has been a leading critic of government export regulations on encryption, programs that scramble information and render it unreadable without a password or software "key." PGP can export its most powerful coding software, but only to a pre-approved list of foreign subsidiaries of Fortune 100 companies. Under federal rules, the most powerful encryption software cannot be exported unless it includes features allowing the U.S. government to crack the codes. The rules include an exemption for foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies. Congress is considering bills that would allow powerful encryption software to be freely exported.

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