BSI Letter regarding Cryptography Regulation in Germany
May 30, 1995

Commentary and Translation by Christopher Kuner

Commentary: The following letter was written in German by Dr. Ansgar Heuser of the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI), the German government agency which advises the government on computer security matters. The letter clearly indicates that there are presently no provisions of German law requiring permits for the use of encryption, and may thus be regarded as an authoritative statement of the present German legal situation on this point.

Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik

Postfach 20 03 63

53133 Bonn

Date: May 30, 1995

Extension: (0228) 9582-600

BBN-BKZ: 74-600

Reference number: III-145-00-01

Dear Mr. Möller:

I would like to answer your e-mail question of May 22, 1995 as follows:

There are presently no legal regulations in the Federal Republic of Germany which make the use of encryption techniques subject to any type of permit; in particular prohibition on the use of processes which are "not certified by the BSI".

As a certain part of the public seem to have incorrect view of this point, I would like to ask you to publicise this clarification.

The BSI is not entitled to make a public judgement on the political and factual implementation and regulation of the cryptography market; I thus ask you to excuse my not being able to give information on this point.

Sincerely yours,


Dr. Heuser