From: "Philip L. Dubois"
Subject: News Release -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Yesterday morning, I received word from Assistant U.S. Attorney William Keane in San Jose, California, that the government's three-year investigation of Philip Zimmermann is over. Here is the text of Mr. Keane's letter to me: "The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California has decided that your client, Philip Zimmermann, will not be prosecuted in connection with the posting to USENET in June 1991 of the encryption program Pretty Good Privacy. The investigation is closed." The U.S. Attorney also released this to the press: "Michael J. Yamaguchi, United States Attorney for the Northern District of California, announced today that his office has declined prosecution of any individuals in connection with the posting to USENET in June 1991 of the encryption program known as "Pretty Good Privacy." The investigation has been closed. No further comment will be made by the U.S. Attorney's Office on the reasons for declination. Assistant U.S. Attorney William P. Keane of the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Jose at (408) 535-5053 oversaw the government's investigation of the case." On receiving this news, Mr. Zimmermann posted this to the Cypherpunks list: - -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- My lead defense lawyer, Phil Dubois, received a fax this morning from the Assistant US Attorney in Northern District of California, William Keane. The letter informed us that I "will not be prosecuted in connection with the posting to USENET in June 1991 of the encryption program Pretty Good Privacy. The investigation is closed." This brings to a close a criminal investigation that has spanned the last three years. I'd like to thank all the people who helped us in this case, especially all the donors to my legal defense fund. Apparently, the money was well-spent. And I'd like to thank my very capable defense team: Phil Dubois, Ken Bass, Eben Moglen, Curt Karnow, Tom Nolan, and Bob Corn-Revere. Most of the time they spent on the case was pro-bono. I'd also like to thank Joe Burton, counsel for the co- defendant. There are many others I can thank, but I don't have the presence of mind to list them all here at this moment. The medium of email cannot express how I feel about this turn of events. -Philip Zimmermann 11 Jan 96 I'd like to add a few words to those of my client. First, I thank Mr. Keane for his professionalism in notifying us of the government's decision. It has become common practice for federal prosecutors to refuse to tell targets of investigations that the government has decided not to prosecute. I appreciate Mr. Keane's courtesy. Let me add my thanks to the other members of the defense team-- Ken Bass in Washington D.C. (email@example.com), Curt Karnow in San Francisco (firstname.lastname@example.org), Eben Moglen in New York (email@example.com), and Tom Nolan in Palo Alto (firstname.lastname@example.org). Bob Corn-Revere in D.C. (email@example.com) was a great help on First Amendment issues. These lawyers are heroes. They donated hundreds of hours of time to this cause. Each is outstanding in his field and made a contribution that nobody else could have made. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with these gentlemen. Mr. Zimmermann mentioned a lawyer named Joe Burton (firstname.lastname@example.org) of San Francisco. Mr. Burton deserves special mention. He represented another person who was under investigation. To have made this other person publicly known would have been an invasion of privacy, so we didn't. We still won't, but we can finally acknowledge Mr. Burton's enormous contribution. Whether we were getting paid or not, the rest of us at least received some public attention for representing Phil Zimmermann. Mr. Burton labored quietly on behalf of his client. He took the case pro bono and did an extraordinary job. He is a lawyer who exemplifies the finest traditions of the Bar and the highest standard of integrity. I am proud to know Joe Burton. The warriors at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)-- Marc Rotenberg, David Sobel, and David Banisar-- and at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) provided financial, legal, and moral support and kept the public informed. They continue to do so, and we all owe them thanks for it. Those members of the press who recognized the importance of this story and told the world about it should be commended. Undeterred by the absence of sex and violence, these reporters discussed the real issues and in so doing served the public well. Many other people, lawyers and humans alike, made invaluable contributions. My assistants Alicia Alpenfels, Suzanne Turnbull Paulman, and Denise Douglas and my investigator Eli Nixon kept us organized. Rich Mintz, Tom Feegel, and Nathaniel Borenstein of First Virtual put up a Web site and aggressively supported the Zimmermann Legal Defense Fund. Another site was built by Michael Sattler of San Francisco, and he and Dave Del Torto (also of S.F.) let me stay in their homes. Thanks also to MIT and The MIT Press: Hal Abelson, Jeff Schiller, Brian LaMacchia, Derek Atkins, Jim Bruce, David Litster, Bob Prior, and Terry Ehling. And there were many others. Finally, I offer my thanks to everyone who contributed to the Zimmermann Legal Defense Fund. People all over the world gave their hard-earned money to support not only Phil Zimmermann's defense but also the cause of privacy. It is impossible to be too pessimistic about our future when there are so many of you. Now, some words about the case and the future. Nobody should conclude that it is now legal to export cryptographic software. It isn't. The law may change, but for now, you'll probably be prosecuted if you break it. People wonder why the government declined prosecution, especially since the government isn't saying. One perfectly good reason might be that Mr. Zimmermann did not break the law. (This is not always a deterrent to indictment. Sometimes the government isn't sure whether someone's conduct is illegal and so prosecutes that person to find out.) Another might be that the government did not want to risk a judicial finding that posting cryptographic software on a site in the U.S., even if it's an Internet site, is not an "export". There was also the risk that the export-control law would be declared unconstitutional. Perhaps the government did not want to get into a public argument about some important policy issues: should it be illegal to export cryptographic software? Should U.S. citizens have access to technology that permits private communication? And ultimately, do U.S. citizens have the right to communicate in absolute privacy? There are forces at work that will, if unresisted, take from us our liberties. There always will be. But at least in the United States, our rights are not so much stolen from us as they are simply lost by us. The price of freedom is not only vigilance but also participation. Those folks I mention in this message have participated and no doubt will continue. My thanks, and the thanks of Philip Zimmermann, to each of you. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: 2.6.2 iQCVAwUBMPdHw7Z7C+AHeDONAQFR+QP/SJFD1DsIqUZhl5s8dtnUfe8l5a0YAWsa jOGvaK6gNpi1L4McEkb8Y4hOlI4n+X8HuRnzHai0UmSjAT6zHQmfN9UVbP27fYBR xKw1nTzEziHsbmHTua+fDvsWrsWa+A5hBxS7UAQkepDWtlc2EUCB1v5aOyGwnuco ppXLLSDHh1g= =N8iF -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----