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Encryption legal restrictions

Last Modified: 2012-05-12
This question is about legal restrictions on encryption systems available to the general (American) public.

I seem to remember years ago, like during the Clinton administration, a big bru-ha-ha about encryption.  There was big talk about limiting the legal key length, if I recall.  Is it now just assumed that intelligence agencies and police can crack any encryption (other than a one-time pad system)?  What ever happened to that issue?

Also, regarding one-time pad systems, they're generally regarded as unbreakable, as far as I know, assuming they're implemented properly.  So, if there's any system that should be of concern to law enforcement, Etc., it should be one-time pad systems.  Are there legal restrictions on their use?  From a technical standpoint, as I understand it, the major problem with creating a one-time pad system is generating random numbers.  The "random numbers" generated by computer program functions that purport to do so are generally just quasi-random, not truly random, again, as I understand it.  Are there programs, functions, or whatever that really do generate true random numbers?  Are any of these free or cheap and available to the general public?

By the way, I don't mean to imply that those are the entities I'm interested in protecting my data against.  It's thieves that concern me, but some of these guys may be ex-KGB, Etc., so I want solid protection.  Also, it's partially just an academic question.  I want to know what the rules are.  Also, I have an interesting idea for a product based on the one-time pad concept, and I want to know if developing it is even legal.

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