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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

A national debate on encryption exportability

Traditionally, cryptography has been an exclusively military technology controlled by the National Security Agency (NSA). Therefore, U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITARS) requires licenses for all export of modern cryptographic methods. Some methods, such as the Data Encryption Standard (DES), are easily obtained for export to the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM) countries, but not Soviet block countries, or most Third World nations.

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