Sidney Markowitz wrote:
Excerpt from

"Fact Sheet on NSA Suite B Cryptography"
http://www.nsa.gov/ia/industry/crypto_suite_b.cfm


"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?

Cheers,

Ben.

--
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

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