Referrences to SKE and GAK

Carl Ellison cme at
Wed Oct 5 10:28:44 PDT 1994

>Date: Wed, 05 Oct 1994 12:16:21 -0400
>From: Bill Sommerfeld <sommerfeld at>

>I think the main problem here is that the government seized the
>initiative by using "Key Escrow" when they really mean "Government
>Access to Keys";

Exactly.  The term is tainted.

Meanwhile, the offense to the English language remains even if we give the
term up as tainted.  For example, there's a line in one of our publications
(the Data Security Letter) talking about this process:

	FBI representatives stressed concern that users not be able to use
	encryption products separated from the key escrow process.

That's true to the FBI's word choice.

So -- postulate a Key Escrow service with escrow agents chosen by Fidel
Castro and the Columbian drug cartel as grantee -- or, as an alternative,
postulate a PGP key provided by the FBI for good little boys and girls to
include as a recipient during encryption with PGP-voice.

Which one gives the FBI access?

 - Carl

P.S.  (I know: neither, because there aren't any good little boys and
girls, but I was talking about English semantics, not reality. :-)

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