Quoting Alex French (alex at evilal.com):
> PGP did have some problems with the feebs, but this was because it was
> then illegal to distribute RSA outside the US...
Not as such. Not precisely.
(Please note that RSA is not a piece of code, but rather a well-known
and publicly published algorithm. The phrase "distribute RSA" doesn't
make much sense, let alone the notion of banning its distribution.)
_Exports_ of strong cryptographic code were subject to Federal
prohibition unless you had a licence for same from the applicable
bureaucrats, under a munitions-export control law dating from WWII.
There was never any prohibition against, or control over, distribution
of RSA or any strong crypto outside the USA. The Feds were forced to
retreat from this position through new exceptions for software loosely
matching our notion of open source -- mostly because Daniel J.
Bernstein's freedom-of-speech lawsuit victory against those regulations
kept being upheld at higher appellate levels.
PGP also had the problem of infringing against the IDEA and RSA patents,
plus infringing RSA Data Security, Inc.'s copyright over its code.
It was a horrible mess, legally. GnuPG fixes that by eschewing
patent-encumbered algorithms, and being written wholly outside the USA.
Cheers, "That article and its poster have been cancelled."
Rick Moen -- David B. O'Donnel, sysadmin for America Online
rick at linuxmafia.com
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