Cryptology Under French Law

The use of cryptology in France has been liberalized by the Telecommunication Act of July 26, 1996, supplemented by several Decrees, including the Decrees of February 24, 1998 and March 17, 1999. Pursuant to these regulations, the use of encryption devices or services implemented by an algorithm which encoding key is below 128 bits does not require any formality in most cases. This liberalization provides significant protection for individuals and companies to exchange private correspondence safely or buy and sell goods and services over the Internet, and should therefore boost the development of e-commerce in France.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What regulations apply to Trusted Third Parties?
What are the main rules applicable to the use of encryption devices?
What are the rules applicable to the importation and exportation of encryption devices outside the European Community?

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