FYI: NSA Requests Source Code From Elvis+

Rohit Khare (
Mon, 7 Jul 1997 11:24:15 -0400 (EDT)

Date: Sun, 6 Jul 1997 19:39:14 -0700
From: Vinnie Moscaritolo <>
Subject: FYI: NSA Requests Source Code From Elvis+

--- begin forwarded text

The following was posted on Computer Reseller News:

NSA Requests Source Code From Elvis+
By Deborah Gage

Mountain View, Calif.
3:00 p.m. EST Thurs., July 3, 1997

The National Security Agency has asked Sun Microsystems Inc. and Elvis+,
the Russian networking company in which Sun has a 10 percent stake, to
turn over the source code of its SunScreen SKIP E+.

At press time, Sun and the NSA still were negotiating over which parts of
the code Sun must turn over. Elvis+ President and Chief Executive
Alexander Galitsky has refused to turn over all the source code on the
grounds that the government does not need it.

"We will offer the NSA a nondisclosure agreement and two to four code
modules so they can compare our source code with Sun's source code," said
Steven Hunzicker, chief operating officer of Russia Communications
Research Inc., a technology broker for Elvis+ in Los Gatos, Calif. "We
want to be reasonable and respectful, but not foolish. To ask for the
entire source code is unreasonable in any type of environment, business
or otherwise. Sun wouldn't give up their whole source code to the

This is the latest development between the government, Elvis+ and Sun
over encryption policy. In May, Mountain View, Calif.-based Sun hoped to
sidestep U.S. encryption laws by selling the Elvis+ technology overseas
and importing it into the United States (CRN, May 26). Sun has exclusive
rights to the Elvis+ products on Windows 95 and 3.11. Moreover, the
Elvis+ technology is built from Sun's SKIP encryption and key management

A Sun spokeswoman said Sun was in communication with the U.S. Department
of Commerce, but otherwise had no comment.

The Commerce Department, meanwhile, either will escalate its inquiry into
a full-scale investigation or resolve the issue, said a spokeswoman for
the department.

The NSA declined to comment on the matter.

Sources familiar with the inquiry said the Commerce Department is leaning
toward quiet resolution, despite the NSA's request. "This is not a fight
worth fighting," one source said. "They're watching the situation, but
right now no one wants to play."

Sun also acknowledged this week that the U.S. State Department is
investigating the diversion of a Sun server for unapproved use in China.

A Sun spokesman said the company is cooperating with the government and
is in touch with both the reseller and buyer of the server in an attempt
to get it back.

The spokesman refused to provide further details, citing national
security concerns.

Vinnie Moscaritolo
That Crypto Guy at Apple...
PGP: 4FA3298150E404F2782501876EA2146A
DSS/DH: B36343A790489C8D4E149147D57A7566C206F586

1 if by land, 2 if by sea.
Paul Revere - encryption 1775