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Re: Info on Netscape's key escrow position

Dr. Frederick B. Cohen 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.
> The point Netscape seems to miss is that by refusing to go with weak
> crypto and having the best product on the market, Netscape may be able
> to force these governments into a position of accepting it.
> Suppose Netscape took the position that it was 512 bit RSA, and that it
> was for sale to anyone who wanted to buy it? The result would either be
> a billion dollars of market impact and a collapse of the high-tech stock
> bubble we are now building, or the government backing down.

  This is exactly what the government wants.  Some of the largest
software companies have been producing software that only supports
short key lengths for both export and domestic use for years, and
it has not caused the government to back down.  

> If the US government backed down, and Netscape became the best product
> around and maintained that lead for a long time, other countries would
> either have to allow Netscape in, or suffer the consequences of falling
> behind in the IT curve.

  Many customers in other countries want our US version.  They are pushing
on their governments and the US government to get it.  This is already

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