No Subject

owner-cypherpunks at owner-cypherpunks at
Wed Feb 14 04:41:33 PST 1996

> It seems that there a market demand for a stealth-capable product.
> Many peoples here seems to discuss it.  And for the time being, AFAIK,
> this type of products are used by a specific class of peoples, most of
> which knows what 'stealth' means.
> So why is it that they design a program that would not permit the use
> of a feature considered desirable by it's customer base?

The big question I have for you is, what do you mean by "stealth" PGP?
Do you want a PGP message which doesn't say to whom it is encrypted?
Or do you want a PGP message which does not even acknowledge that it
is a PGP message?  If what you want is the former, then that can fit
under the PGP API fairly well.  If you want the latter, it will not.

The reason is that PGP, by definition, is a self-describing packet
format.  Without that description there is no general way for the PGP
library to discover what kind of message it is parsing order to
perform the proper operation to open the message.  OTOH, if just the
keyID is missing, the library will happily try all the keys on your
secret keyring until one succeeds or they all fail (I'm not sure if
this is implemented, but it fits quite nicely under the API).

The other question I have is: who do you think the "customers" of PGP
are?  If you think the majority of PGP's customers are the
crypto-privacy activitst types, you are highly mistaken.  PGP has hit
the main stream, and is being used by many non-crypto-aware people.
Probably more of them than there are of us.

If you want to discuss this more, let's take it to private email,


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