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Re: Info on Netscape's key escrow position
From: IN%"[email protected]" "Jeff Weinstein" 2-DEC-1995 19:58:15.80
E. ALLEN SMITH wrote:
> I believe that the central question at hand is whether Netscape will
> incorporate mandatory GAK into any of its products if you have an economic
> (governmental purchase) rather than physical (governmental threat of violence)
> reason to do so. I would hope that the upcoming statement will clarify this
> position, and in the proper direction.
If the government wants to purchase software for its own use that implements
key escrow, why it that bad? The whole point of our anti-GAK position is that
government mandated key escrow is bad. If individuals, companies, or government
agencies want to escrow their own keys, with the escrow agents of their own
choosing, I have not problem. Its only when the government make the escrow
and the agent mandatory that I've got a problem.
I apologize for my lack of clarity. I would agree with you on voluntary
escrow. My meaning in "governmental purchase" is that governments may use
tactics such as directing purchases to companies that cooperate with their
agenda. In other words, instead of properly spending the taxpayers' money on
the best browser, server, etcetera available, they may exclude programs
produced by a company not incorporating mandatory GAK.
I don't believe that Netscape will ship a product that mandates GAK
unless it was required by law to do so. As long as it is legal to sell
non-escrowed crypto products in this country or elsewhere, I think we
will keep doing it, because that is what our customers want.
I am glad that your information leads you to this belief. However, I
would still prefer that the official company statement include a clear section
on this matter. (I would also, of course, prefer that this section be
clearly against GAK; Jim Clark's claim that there are any circumstances under
which a private citizen's communications should be tapped gives me cause to