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Bernstein v. United States

From Academic Kids

Bernstein v. United States is a court case brought by Daniel J. Bernstein challenging restrictions on the export of encryption software outside of the United States.

The case was first brought in 1995, when Bernstein was a student at Berkeley and wanted to publish a paper and associated source code on his Snuffle encryption system. Bernstein was represented by the EFF, who hired outside lawyer Cindy Cohn. Four years and one regulatory change later, the court case won a landmark decision from the Ninth Circuit that software was speech protected by the First Amendment and that the governments regulations preventing its publication were unconstitutional.

The government modified the regulations again, substantially loosening them, and Bernstein, now a professor at University of Illinois at Chicago, challenged them again. This time, he chose to represent himself, although he has no formal legal training. On October 15, 2003, almost nine years since Bernstein first brought the case, the judge dismissed it and asked Bernstein to come back when the government made a "concrete threat".

See also: Export of cryptography

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