Restrictions on the import of cryptography

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A number of countries have attempted to restrict the import of cryptography tools.


Countries may wish to restrict import of cryptography technologies for a number of reasons:

  • Imported cryptography may have backdoors or security holes (e.g. the FREAK vulnerability), intentional or not, which allows the country or group who created the backdoor technology, for example the National Security Agency (NSA), to spy on persons using the imported cryptography; therefore the use of cryptography is restricted to that which the government thinks is safe, or which it develops itself.
  • Citizens can anonymously communicate with each other, preventing any external party from monitoring them.
  • Encrypted transactions may impede external entities to control the conducting of business.
  • Cryptography may sometimes increase levels of privacy within the country beyond what the government wishes.

Status by country[edit]

The Electronic Privacy Information Center and Global Internet Liberty Campaign reports use a color code to indicate the level of restriction, with the following meanings:

  • Green: No restriction
  • Yellow: License required for importation
  • Red: Total ban
Country Status Updated
Angola Unknown 2000
Armenia Green/Yellow 2000
Bahrain Yellow 2008
Belarus Red 2008
Brunei Darussalam Yellow/Red 2000
Cambodia Yellow 2008
Canada Green 2015
China Yellow 2008
Czech Republic Green/Yellow 2008
Egypt Yellow 2007
Ghana Green 2008
Hong Kong Green/Yellow 2008
Hungary Green/Yellow 2008
India Green/Yellow 2008
Iran Yellow 2008
Iraq Red 2000
Israel Yellow 2008
Kazakhstan Yellow 2008
Latvia Yellow 2008
Lithuania Yellow 2008
Malta Yellow 2000
Moldova Yellow 2008
Mongolia Red 2000
Morocco Yellow 2008
Myanmar (Burma) Red 2008
Nepal Unknown 2000
Nicaragua Unknown 2000
North Korea Unknown/Red 2008
Pakistan Yellow 2008
Poland Green/Yellow 2008
Romania Green 1996 (Wassenaar)
Russia Red 2008
Rwanda Unknown 2008
Saudi Arabia Green 2008
Singapore Green 2008
South Africa Green/Yellow 2008
South Korea Yellow 2008
Tunisia Yellow/Red 2008
Turkmenistan Red 2000
Ukraine Yellow 2007
Uzbekistan Red 2000
Vietnam Yellow 2008

See also[edit]

External links[edit]