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Re: Info on Netscape's key escrow position

Alan Olsen wrote:
> At 11:01 PM 12/1/95 -0800, you wrote:
> >
> >  I had lunch with Jim Clark today, and explained the furor that was
> >currently going on in cypherpunks and elsewhere.  After lunch he sent
> >me the e-mail that I've attached below to pass along.  I think the gist
> >of it is that if governments require key escrow, we will have to do it
> >in order to sell our products with encryption into those countries.
> [rest removed for brevity]
> Well someone has to say it...
> "I am glad to see that Jim Clark is no longer hocking up GAK."
> I just hope Netscape does not get seduced by the dark side of the feds and
> impliment GAK "because they have to".  It is one thing to have cryptography
> that is brute forcable in a few weeks, it is another to have a secret key
> that some nosey government agent use to decrypt it in seconds.  If Netscape
> impliments GAK I will move to something else because I will not be able to
> trust that some other nasty surprise will exist in the software.  (As well
> as having no real security left in the product.)

  I don't think you will ever be in this position.  If we are forced implement
GAK by the government, everyone else will too.

> Do I beleive that Netscape will impliment GAK in the near future?  Not
> really.  Not unless they go through another purge like the one back in
> February(?), but I do not see that as being very likely.  (With the current
> IPO, news of a employee purge would probibly drive down the stock and that
> would be the last thing the top brass would want.)

  There was never a "purge" in Netscape engineering.  What you are referring
to happened right before I got here.  As I understand it, it was localized
to the customer support organization(which is why you know about it I assume),
and mostly involved contractors.


Jeff Weinstein - Electronic Munitions Specialist
Netscape Communication Corporation
[email protected] - http://home.netscape.com/people/jsw
Any opinions expressed above are mine.