Comments on PGP5.0 OCR (was Re: fyi, pgp source now available , internationally)

Bill Stewart stewarts at
Sun Aug 17 12:27:33 PDT 1997

At 03:21 PM 8/11/97 -0400, tzeruch - at - ceddec - dot - com wrote:

>Not quite.  If you read closely, the EAR says something about reserving
>judgment on OCR publications.  You didn't use a specific OCR font, but you
>did put all kinds of other OCR helps in, which should by itself cloud the
>issue.  It would be nice if it was resolved.

Of course they say the "reserve judgement" - they'd really like to
control it, but they know their chances of getting it past the
First Amendment are extremely low, so it's just FUD.

I thought the PGP source code was printed in nice, friendly OCR-B font,
but OCR equipment is good enough that Courier 10 or random popular
fonts from Laserjets will do.  (Proportional spaced is still a bit
harder to recognize than constant-width, but not by much.)
Reading text typed on an IBM Selectric was practical 10 years ago,
when cheap ($10K) 68000-based OCR machines were starting to come out 
which weren't made by Kurzweil (who made great $30K machines.)
If they want to block OCR-readable stuff, they're blocking just about
everything printed today.

#			Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, +1-415-442-2215 stewarts at
# You can get PGP outside the US at
#   (If this is a mailing list or news, please Cc: me on replies.  Thanks.)

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