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Re: PGP 2.6 is dangerous in the long term ?
> >What if (the cypherpunk community) comes out with a secure program that
> >doesn't rely on RSAREF? Can it be done?
> Bizdos and gang will _still_ hold the patent on RSA-style public key
> encryption. What you're suggesting is, in essence, exactly what Phil
> Zimmerman did with PGP 1.0.
There are three different problems here:
- Doing secure programs without the RSAREF implementation of RSA;
this has US patent license difficulties unless you buy their stuff.
- Doing secure programs without the RSA algorithm - other public-key
methods are available, such as Diffie-Hellman, though RSA has
a lot of technical advantages for many applications.
PKP/RSADSI own patents that expire in 1997 that they claim cover
the whole field of public-key crypto, and nobody's challenged the
breadth of those claims in court.
- Doing secure programs without public-key algorithms at all -
you *can* use secret-key algorithms to do security, as long as you're
willing to do key distribution by some usable but inconvenient method,
and security systems like Kerberos can do this. But Public-Key
variants solve a lot of the technical difficulties and make
implementations much easier.