mkirk
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:21 pm

Raspberry Pi - export restrictions due to crypto?

Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:04 pm

I searched the forums but could not find my answer. Please point me to any relevant links.

If Raspberry Pi is included in a product, can the Pi be shipped worldwide from USA without restrictions?

Does Raspberry Pi contain any encryption/crypto hardware (CPU/GPU/coprocessor), bootloader or functions in Raspian OS that would classify it as a "munition"? Thus it may be subject to US export laws.

Thanks,
Mike

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 19767
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: Raspberry Pi - export restrictions due to crypto?

Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:09 pm

mkirk wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:04 pm
I searched the forums but could not find my answer. Please point me to any relevant links.

If Raspberry Pi is included in a product, can the Pi be shipped worldwide from USA without restrictions?

Does Raspberry Pi contain any encryption/crypto hardware (CPU/GPU/coprocessor), bootloader or functions in Raspian OS that would classify it as a "munition"? Thus it may be subject to US export laws.

Thanks,
Mike

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... formity.md

https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspbe ... programme/
adieu

My other Computer is an Asus CS10 ChromeBit running Chrome Operating System.
HP Envy 4500 Wireless Printer supported by HPLIP software in Raspbian Buster.
Raspberry Pi Model 2B v1.1

mkirk
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:21 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi - export restrictions due to crypto?

Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:06 pm

Thanks. These links seem to answer my first question, but not the second regarding crypto restrictions

Heater
Posts: 12609
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi - export restrictions due to crypto?

Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:02 pm

Oh my God. The Raspberry Pi and/or its normal operating system, Raspbian, might be a "munition".

I think the only way to be sure if whatever oppressive regime you live under lets you export such a thing or not, is to ask the oppressive regime. How can we know what crackpot ideas they have?

As it happens the Pi is not made in the USA. They are made in Wales, they are made somewhere in China. The OS is available world wide. We don't care what the the USA thinks is a "munition".

jdb
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 1995
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:37 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi - export restrictions due to crypto?

Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:49 pm

Read up on your computing history.

The US of A designated advanced encryption algorithms as "munitions" in a futile attempt to stop the spread of strong encryption (that the NSA couldn't break) across the world.

Turns out, people smart enough to implement asymmetric encryption are smart enough to work around such pathetic attempts at legislating the free transmission of knowledge between people. The somewhat amusing circumvention of this "law" involved a lot of Xerox machines, one airplane ticket and the fact that the First Amendment to the US constitution trumps whatever garbage the US administration of the day can come up with.

I heartily recommend the book "The Code Breakers" by Simon Singh, which explores this journey in detail.

Spoilers: they printed the source code for PGP in book form, then "exported" it in some guy's hand baggage. There was nothing the US government could do.

Edit: relevant xkcd: https://xkcd.com/504/
Rockets are loud.
https://astro-pi.org

Heater
Posts: 12609
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi - export restrictions due to crypto?

Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:29 am

jdb,
Read up on your computing history.
As it happens I don't need to read that part of computing history. I was around as that crypto/munitions saga unfolded in real-time.

A similar legal situation arose in the year 2000 or so with the guys printing the DECSS T-SHIRTs https://www.wired.com/2000/08/court-to- ... s-t-shirt/

Oh yes, Simon Singh's book is highly recommended.

The "crypto wars" are still not over today, what with the likes of the FBI endlessly campaigning for backdoors into all the crypto used on mobile phones and such.

markkuk
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:02 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Raspberry Pi - export restrictions due to crypto?

Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:53 am

mkirk wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:06 pm
Thanks. These links seem to answer my first question, but not the second regarding crypto restrictions
The international treaty on export controls of munitions and "dual-use goods" is called The Wassenaar Arrangement. They publish a list of controlled goods that is updated twice a year. Cryptographic devices and software are defined in Category 5, Part 2 of the document, which contains the following note:
Cryptography Note
5.A.2., 5.D.2.a.1., 5.D.2.b. and 5.D.2.c.1. do not apply to items as follows:
a. Items meeting all of the following:
1. Generally available to the public by being sold, without restriction, from stock at retail selling points by means of any of the following:
a. Over-the-counter transactions;
b. Mail order transactions;
c. Electronic transactions; or
d. Telephone call transactions;
2. The cryptographic functionality cannot easily be changed by the user;
3. Designed for installation by the user without further substantial support by the supplier; and
4. When necessary, details of the items are accessible and will be provided, upon request, to the appropriate authority in the exporter's country in order to ascertain compliance with conditions described in paragraphs 1. to 3. above;
In my opinion, Raspberry Pi (as a standalone product) appears to fulfill all of the above conditions to be excluded from the Wassenaar export controls. If you include it as a component of a larger product things may change.

You really need to consult a lawyer if you have doubts about legal problems with producing or exporting a commercial product.

RichardS
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:40 am

Re: Raspberry Pi - export restrictions due to crypto?

Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:27 pm

Cryptographically speaking, the genie is kind of out of the bottle, since any modern PC, Laptop, or Smartphone is more than capable of easily performing ultra secure encryption that all the super-computers on earth could not break in a million years.

Back in the 90's the U.S. government did go kind of nuts trying to put that genie back in the bottle by forcing everyone to use their backdoored ''Clipper Chip" using the now defunct 80 bit Skipjack Cipher, but these days they seem to have adopted a different tack and instead concentrate on finding (or creating) various sleazy little hacks to subvert otherwise strong crypto.

So far as the Raspberry Pi goes; although it might have some low level cryptographic hardware support for a secure boot loader, and secure WiFi, so do ALL modern PCs, Laptops, Tablets, and Smartphones.

Can Raspbian on the Raspberry Pi be used to do unbreakable encryption? Sure and so can Debian on pretty much any PC, MAC, Laptop, Tablet, or Smartphone. The Raspberry Pi is technically LESS of an offender, since by default, the hardware ships without even having an operating system installed.

These days ANY device with a C compiler or Basic interpreter, could potentially be used to implement unbreakable encryption fairly easily, including tiny pico-processor equipped devices like the Arduino Nano, so of course it's fairly trivial for even the least powerful Raspberry Pi, the Pi Zero, which has several hundred times the raw CPU power and several THOUSAND times as much RAM.

The only way to avoid this would to ban ALL microprocessors, and regress civilization to the stone age.

hippy
Posts: 5326
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Raspberry Pi - export restrictions due to crypto?

Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:28 am

RichardS wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:27 pm
The only way to avoid this would to ban ALL microprocessors, and regress civilization to the stone age.
If we did that we would only regress back to the 1970's or thereabouts.

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