Contributing Lawyers


Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross


Andrew Hudson

Canada's Export Control Regime for Cryptographic Security Features in Computer Software

An article entitled “Decrypting Canadian Export Controls for Software with Security CapabilitiesDecrypting Canadian Export Controls for Software with Security Capabilitiesin the Ottawa Business Journal on September 8, 2008,  provides useful information to exporters of computer software with cryptographic security features.  Canada has thriving software and information and telecommunication technology development industries.  However, many developers and exporters are not aware of the export control laws in Canada that apply in respect of their products and extra-territorial U.S. laws that apply to their activities and products.

Michael Morgan rightly points out in the article that:

"A failure to appreciate the export-related consequences of introducing cryptographic capabilities into a product can cause significant business disruption when that failure is finally discovered. A company that fails to obtain the necessary permits for its export of products with cryptographic capabilities can be prohibited from exporting those products until such time as an appropriate export permit has been obtained (which can be a lengthy process) or until such time as the product is re-engineered to remove the offending cryptographic capabilities (again, potentially a lengthy process if even feasible). Obviously, an inability to ship products to customers outside Canada and the United States for a period of weeks or months can have a significant financial impact on a company."

Canada's export laws applicable to goods, computer software and technology, often focus on the technical capabilities of the goods, computer software and technology.  As a result, there is not a one-size-fits-all.  Consequently, it is necessary for exporters of goods, software and technology with Cryptographic security features to contact competent Canadian export controls lawyers to determine whether an export permit is required prior to the export of such goods, computer software and technology.  Please contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak (416-307-4168) or Martin Masse (613-232-7171) for further information.

Leave a Reply

remember my information