Please take note of the following press release:



-- A project to improve and commercialize GnuPG, the GNU Privacy Guard --

Project management: GUUG, the German Unix User Group

In cooperation with:

   G-N-U GmbH
   LinuxLand International
   The DFN-PCA project
   Werner Koch Softwaresysteme

Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

This press release is intended to provide answers to the most common
questions concerning our project. In case of further questions you are
invited to contact us at: [EMAIL PROTECTED]

Project objectives

The project is intended to foster the widespread use of encryption
technology in general and the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) in particular.

What is GnuPG?

GnuPG is a security application based on cryptographic algorithms. Written
by German programmer Werner Koch, GnuPG is world renowned to be one of the
best security tools available.

The characteristics of GnuPG

   - GnuPG is a full implementation of OpenPGP, the standard that extends
     PGP, the de-facto standard for cryptographic tools on the Internet.
   - GnuPG has been released as free software under the GNU General Public
     License (GNU GPL). As such, full access to the source code is provided.

What is free software?

Free software, sometimes referred to as open source software, is software
distributed under a license which:

   - permits any user to use the software for any purpose, including those
     with commercial aims;
   - provides full access to the source code;
   - permits any user to modify the software, and to distribute the modified
   - versions.

Free software may, therefore, be sold. One of our project goals is just
that: to sell copies of GnuPG in order to partially finance our work.

Many of today's free software packages evolved from the GNU project of the
Free Software Foundation (FSF). GnuPG is also an official GNU part of this
project, see for more

More information on free software can be found at

There are ever increasing demands on the providers of security technology.
Providing full access to GnuPG's source code is a crucial step to meeting
those requirements.

What do we want to achieve?

   - with the growing number of people connecting to open networks such as
     the Internet the protection of privacy becomes not only more important
     but also more difficult;
   - the use of digital signatures will provide the foundation for reliable
     business communications and thus have a major impact on our economy.

Our intention is to develop and distribute the tools that are necessary to
facilitate widespread access and use of strong cryptographic applications.

Moreover, a major aspect of our work is to display the huge economic
potential of free (open source) software. It has long been shown that the
quality of non-free (i.e. proprietary) software is by no means better than
that of free software. Therefore, the usability of software, which is both
free and commercial, within a working environment is one of our main

Why not use PGP?

PGP ("Pretty Good Privacy") is a product developed and implemented in the
US. Because of the strict export restrictions and other US laws, PGP is
unsuitable for many areas outside the US.

Although the source code to PGP has been published it is not complete and it
is unknown whether future versions of PGP will be shipped with access to the
source code. Thus, PGP is not free software.

Furthermore, all current versions of PGP support some form of third party
access to cryptographic keys. This "feature" has lead to a decrease of faith
in the software.

What impacts will the project have?

The GnuPG software, including a handbook containing the full documentation,
will be available at specialized dealers. Both private and business users
will be able to buy the software at a reasonable price. GnuPG will be easy
to install and use, while retaining full functionality. Users will also have
access to commercial support.

How do we merit from the project?

Many users appreciate ready-to-install software on a CD accompanied by a
manual; they are usually prepared to pay a reasonable price for such

Business users on the other hand require additional services, the most
important of which are a qualified installation of applications within their
corporate networks and training of the employees. Being the GnuPG developers
we are especially capable of offering these services to the users.

What do we bring into the project?

In September 1999 the first full version of GnuPG was released. This version
runs on various UNIX platforms and is intended for the experienced user.

In order to make the software usable by less experienced users it is
essential to enhance GnuPG in several ways: porting the software to other
operating systems, developing graphical user interfaces (GUI) and writing a
handbook are the most obvious examples.

Equally important will be the task of marketing the software in order to
inform the public about the new possibilities offered by using GnuPG and
in order to sell the product.

In addition, the project ensures the future development of GnuPG and acts as
a cornerstone for industry-based free software (open source) development.

How is our funding going to be used?

The funding will ensure both private and business users the availability of
a highly secure cryptographic software at a reasonable price.

It will take some time for the project to finance itself. In the meantime,
the development and marketing will be funded by the German Federal Ministry
of Economics and Technology.

The funding of GnuPG is only a very first step: the German government
already has announced to support follow-up free software (open source)

We are therefore confident that GnuPG as a free software will establish
itself as a reliable tool for European citizens who want to protect their
privacy while remaining part of the global information infrastructure.

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