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Author Topic: Begging your indulgence with a noob question  (Read 924 times)
bugblatter
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June 10, 2011, 09:58:17 PM
 #1

Hi all

Just joined the forum, very excited about Bitcoin (though wishing I had bought *immediately* that I heard about it, when the price was 1/4 its current level).

A question that has been bugging me:

I was under the impression that certain strong forms of encryption were illegal in the 'land of the free', on the pretext of fighting bogeymen. Presumably this is not the case? Legal restrictions on cryptographic strength would presumably make Bitcoin unviable where applied.
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Creating a Bitcoin client that fully implements the network protocol is extremely difficult. Bitcoin Core and some of its derivatives are the only known safe implementations of full nodes. Some other projects attempt to compete, but it is not recommended to use such software for anything serious. (Lightweight clients like Electrum and Bither are OK.)
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Rob P.
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June 10, 2011, 11:38:41 PM
Last edit: June 11, 2011, 01:19:44 AM by pickerin
 #2

Strong encryption is not illegal in the US.  However, there are laws preventing us from exporting it to certain other countries.  These are the same laws used to govern arms dealing.

http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/regulations_laws/itar_official.html

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Stephen Gornick
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June 11, 2011, 04:57:35 AM
 #3

I was under the impression that certain strong forms of encryption were illegal in the 'land of the free', on the pretext of fighting bogeymen. Presumably this is not the case?

  This excellent podcast covers that:
  "The History of the Cypherpunks"
  - http://www.bitcoinmoney.com/post/6136537609

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pwnyboy
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June 11, 2011, 05:03:46 AM
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The encryption used in bitcoins (SHA256) is completely legal in the US.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology, an arm of the US government, has a recorded standard for SHA256. 
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June 11, 2011, 05:42:39 AM
 #5

"An encryption technology used in bitcoins is SHA256 and is completely legal in the US.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology, an arm of the US government, has a recorded standard for SHA256."

fixed that for you.

also see: http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/How_bitcoin_works#Cryptography
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