PGP rapidly acquired a considerable following around the world after it was released. Users and supporters included dissidents in totalitarian countries (some affecting letters to Zimmermann have been published, and included in testimony before the US Congress), civil libertarians in other parts of the world (see Zimmermann's published testimony in various hearings), and the 'free communications' activists who call themselves cypherpunks. The cypherpunks provided both publicity and distribution. Shortly after its release, PGP found its way outside the US, and in February 1993 Zimmermann became the formal target of a criminal investigation by the US Government for "munitions export without a license". Cryptosystems using keys larger than 40-bits were then considered munitions within the definition of the US export regulations; PGP has never used keys smaller than 128 bits so it qualified at that time. Penalties for violation, if found guilty, were substantial. The investigation of Zimmermann was eventually closed without filing criminal charges against him or anyone else. Suspicious , eh? The US export regulations remain in force, but were liberalized substantially throughout the late 1990s. Since 2000, compliance with the regulations is also much easier. PGP no longer meets the definition of a non-exportable weapon, and can be exported anywhere, assuming local regulations permit. Probably because the government has a backdoor to ALL versions since version 2.3 DOWNLOAD PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) ver 2.3

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