Q

Encryption beyond national borders

Is 128-bit encryption only in the U.S.A. and Canada? If other countries have lower rates of encryption, what happens if they are connecting to a Web server in North America?


Good question. No, strong crypto is available around the world and commonly available in the *free* world. What you probably have in mind is the restriction on the size of the key for secret key crypto in products created in the U.S. for export to other countries.

So, the answer to the second part of the question, then, is... "It depends." Software implementations of products have the ability to fall back to weaker cryptography and still work. It becomes a question of the security policy of the site to which the person with the wimpy browser is connected.


This was first published in May 2001

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