NSA Suite B Cryptography

Ben Laurie ben at algroup.co.uk
Fri Oct 14 09:11:58 EDT 2005

Sidney Markowitz wrote:
> Excerpt from
>>"Fact Sheet on NSA Suite B Cryptography"
> "NSA has determined that beyond the 1024-bit public key cryptography in
> common use today, rather than increase key sizes beyond 1024-bits, a
> switch to elliptic curve technology is warranted. In order to facilitate
> adoption of Suite B by industry, NSA has licensed the rights to 26
> patents held by Certicom Inc. covering a variety of elliptic curve
> technology. Under the license, NSA has a right to sublicense vendors
> building equipment or components in support of US national security
> interests."
> Does this prevent free software interoperability with Suite B standards?
> It potentially could be used to block non-US vendors, certainly anyone
> who is in the US Government's disfavor, but it seems to me that even
> with no further intentional action by the NSA it would preclude software
> under the GPL and maybe FOSS in general in countries in which the
> patents are valid.

When questioned about this at IETF (the NSA presented on this stuff) 
they said that the licence they had purchased would cover open source 
s/w. But yes, it could be that the NSA has to approve of the particular 
piece of s/w.

Incidentally, why the focus on GPL?



http://www.apache-ssl.org/ben.html       http://www.thebunker.net/

"There is no limit to what a man can do or how far he can go if he
doesn't mind who gets the credit." - Robert Woodruff

The Cryptography Mailing List
Unsubscribe by sending "unsubscribe cryptography" to majordomo at metzdowd.com

More information about the cryptography mailing list