Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Encryption Source Code and the First Amendment

By Robert C Post


The First Amendment does not cover all speech acts. It instead extends constitutional protection to media for the communication of ideas, which are forms of social interaction that realize First Amendment values. The constitutional question, therefore, is whether particular uses of encryption source code are embedded within such media. It is insufficient to distinguish, as do current federal regulations, the publication of encryption source code in electronic form from its publication in written form. Instead it is necessary to focus on the social contexts within which encryption source code is used, whether in electronic or written form. From a constitutional perspective, it is one thing to use source code to convey ideas to an audience, and it is quite another to use source code to run a computer. The article suggests how each of these situations might be constitutionally analyzed

Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 2000
OAI identifier:
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.