LACC: Encryption and Japan
stewarts at ix.netcom.com
Thu Sep 26 15:41:26 PDT 1996
At 06:46 AM 9/25/96 +0100, T Bruce Tober <octobersdad at reporters.net> wrote:
>A few months ago I read an article concerning one of the encryption
>gurus (other than PZ) setting up a company in Japan to create a new
>encryption program as good as or better than PGP which since it was
>developed in Japan, wouldn't be subject to ITAR.
Jim Bidzos of RSA did a contractual deal with NTT, who have produced
a chip with RSA and Triple-DES implemented on it. I'm not sure the
details of the deal, but essentially it's a license to use the
patented RSA technology. It's not that it's better or worse than PGP;
it's hardware implementations of some of the building blocks PGP uses.
The real win of PGP was taking the pieces (RSA public key key-distribution
and signatures, hashing, and symmetric crypto (DES,Bass-O-Matic,IDEA)),
putting them together into one relatively usable package, and distributing it.
The Web Of Trust that you build out of the RSA signatures is also a win,
since it lets you build non-hierarchical key distribution, which is
especially valuable for non-government-approved lefties :-) as well
as letting you build hierarchical military-style approval if you want.
But that's all applications of the core technologies - NTT is providing
the core pieces that you can build that sort of thing out of.
The NTT deal means that non-US manufacturers can build crypto-phones,
crypto-faxes, crypto-wide-area-network-muxes, etc., without annoying
US local ordinances interfering. If they use it widely, and a flood
of such products hit the US, ITAR becomes effectively dead, which may
help it become really dead. And if they don't, you can at least
get somebody in Japan to build a crypto-virtual-private-WAN router
so your company's internal international email and phone network
will be untappable.
# Thanks; Bill
# Bill Stewart, +1-415-442-2215 stewarts at ix.netcom.com
# <A HREF="http://idiom.com/~wcs">
# You can get PGP software outside the US at ftp.ox.ac.uk/pub/crypto
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