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Old 04 April 2014, 10:19 PM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
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I haven't read the book in the OP but it sounds as if the author was trying to make a joke about the fact that large key encryption were once (until 1998?) classified as munitions that couldn't be exported. So it's like if you find a big prime number you have to report it to the government (in an extremely oversimplified and misunderstood version). Or maybe the character in the story (if not the author) was confused about the story (around the same time 1998) of the guy who was arrested for running prime-finding software on a bunch of corporate computers without permission. Either way it was a time when the whole idea of primes being worth something and perhaps even dangerous in the wrong hands was in the news a lot.
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