[ISN] Why an Arms Control Pact Has Security Experts Up in Arms

http://www.wired.com/2015/06/arms-control-pact-security-experts-arms/ By Kim Zetter Security Wired.com June 24, 2015 SECURITY RESEARCHERS SAY a proposed set of export rules meant to restrict the sale of surveillance software to repressive regimes are so broadly written that they could criminalize some research and restrict legitimate tools that professionals need to make software and computer systems more secure. Critics liken the software rules, put forth by the US Commerce Department, to the Crypto Wars of the late ’90s, when export controls imposed against strong encryption software prevented cryptographers and mathematicians from effectively sharing their research abroad. At issue is the so-called Wassenaar Arrangement, an international agreement on which the proposed US rules are based. Other countries are in the process of developing their own rules around the WA, potentially putting researchers overseas in the same troubled boat as ones in the US. To clarify why people are alarmed about the WA and the proposed US rules, we’ve compiled a primer on what they are and why they could harm not only researchers and security companies but the state of computer security itself. […]