Logourl black
From our private database of 14,200+ case briefs...

Bernstein v. United States Department of Justice

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
176 F.3d 1132 (1999)


Facts

Daniel Bernstein (plaintiff) was a Ph.D. student who created an encryption method he called “Snuffle.” Bernstein sought to present his work on Snuffle within the academic and scientific communities. Bernstein asked the United States government (defendant) whether he needed a license to publish Snuffle in either its paper form or the coded computer-program form. The government responded that Snuffle was a munition under a federal regulation controlling the export of encryption software, and that Bernstein would need a license for Snuffle in any form. Bernstein sued, challenging the constitutionality of the regulation. Bernstein argued that the source code used to create Snuffle was protected speech under the First Amendment. The government argued that because source code has a functional application in addition to its expressive application, source code falls outside of the First Amendment protections.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fletcher, J.)

Dissent (Nelson, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 251,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.