International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research

Response to Australia's Defence Trade Controls Act

July 6, 2015

We are deeply concerned about Australia's Defence Trade Controls Act (DTCA). The act prohibits the "intangible supply" of encryption technologies, and hence subjects many ordinary teaching and research activities to unclear, potentially severe, export controls. As an international organization of cryptographic researchers and educators, we are concerned that the DTCA criminalizes the very essence of our association: to advance the theory and practice of cryptography in the service of public welfare.

We affirm that the public welfare of Australians — and society in general — is best served by open research and education in cryptography and cybersecurity. Open, international scientific collaboration is responsible for the encryption technologies that are now vital to individuals, businesses, and world governments alike. The current legislation cuts off Australia from the international cryptographic research community and jeopardizes the supply of qualified workforce in Australia's growing cybersecurity sector.

We call on Australia to amend their export control laws to include clear exemptions for scientific research and for education.

IACR Member Signatories (234):

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About the IACR

The International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) is a non-profit scientific organization whose purpose is to further research in cryptology and related fields. Cryptology is the science and practice of designing computation and communication systems which are secure in the presence of adversaries.

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