Punkroy started out as a Cypherpunk-- a group of programmers fighting to
spread the word of how to use strong encryption techniques to everyone.
This was in site of the US legislation that forbid the act of allowing foreign
countries to have US knowledge of "strong encryption". The
law was created with the idea of keeping terrorists from having the knowledge
and tools to secretly communicate to one another without the US government
able to spy on them. The law gave a false sense of security with the
ignorant believe this would somehow thwart terrorist attempts at maintaining
secure communications between one an other and prevent the whole world from
having such technology.
The truth is, the world outside the US
already had strong encryption technology that was equal to, if not
greater than that developed in the US. I'm fairly certain terrorists
wouldn't be stopped by the fact "it was illegal" to use strong encryption
to transport sensitive information over US borders. The bottom line
was, this law infringed on free speech. It made it illegal to share
an idea with the rest of the world-- a right clearly protected by the principals
laws of our country.
What they declared "strong encryption"
really didn't have to be all that "strong" to be banned. Any encryption
that contained a key over 40-bits of key space was not allowed. That
is, any algorithm that could not be solved in 2^40 tries. Although
2^40 is 1,099,511,627,776, it's not that big when it comes to computers.
The fact was, well optimised code could crack the weak 40-bit keys in a
matter of hours. This weakened ability to communicate securely meant
legitimate but sensitive communications such as international bank transactions,
Then in 2000, the US government, under
pressure from industry, was forced to admit they were protecting nothing
with this export law and it. The voice of people like people Punkroy
portly didn't have much impact next to the voice of high capital corporations.
However, it is nice to think of this law change as a victory for the Cypherpunks
and contributors such as Punkroy.
Strong encryption algorithms themselves were
created by some very intelligent people, many of whom working for their
own companies. The government felt these algorithms were a threat
as they were often so strong, not even the governments could crack them--
even if they knew every detail about the algorithm. So the creators,
who had likely put in a great deal of time and effort in developing the
algorithms, could not sell their algorithms over seas. In fact, not
only could they not sell it-- they couldn't even give it to someone
in an other country.
To prevent the knowledge for dying, the
Cypherpunks formed to fight this law of fear. Why should knowledge
stop because the government can't spy on their own people? Punkroy
began to write software to demonstrate how to use various strong encryption
algorithms for different tasks. He then published his work freely
on the internet, ware anyone from any country had access to it. That
act was viewed by the US government similar to illegally exporting arms
out of the country. But this was about free speech, so the stand was
more important to Punkroy than the consequences.
In the end, the laws did change and Punkroy
no longer needed to fight. The work of Punkroy still exists, and is
available on this site.
We're not really concerned about the
legality of this site, however, I would like to express that I do have
respect for the authors of works included on this site-- mainly the authors
of the encryption algorithms. Credit has been given to authors with
their respective companies (if applicable) where works are used.
Although my site isn't too crass, I
do acknowledge I have some explicit materiel that may not be aceptable
for viewing by children (such as the Punkroy logo). I have therefor
opted in tagging my site with the appropriate meta tags denoting this
site does contain materiel intended for mature viewers. Those browses
with adult filtering turned on will prevent access to this site.
The aim is to aid parents in allowing their children to use the power
of the internet for knowledge while limiting to arias they may not be
old enough to understand. It preserves the freedom of the internet
while aiding parents in suggesting against sites their children may not
be ready to view. Because in all honesty, I wouldn't want a 10-year-old
wondering how encryption worked viewing this site first. I believe
it would be better for them to find this information at an other location