1994-02-16 - Re: Precedent for PGP legality

Header Data

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
To: rcain@netcom.com (Robert Cain)
Message Hash: 5012c991ba664d0a740c3645fc7a6f2c0f1c0cbe171b6953c3359ca37e953cc2
Message ID: <199402161933.LAA29006@mail.netcom.com>
Reply To: <199402161724.JAA19112@netcom9.netcom.com>
UTC Datetime: 1994-02-16 19:35:13 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 16 Feb 94 11:35:13 PST

Raw message

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 94 11:35:13 PST
To: rcain@netcom.com (Robert Cain)
Subject: Re: Precedent for PGP legality
In-Reply-To: <199402161724.JAA19112@netcom9.netcom.com>
Message-ID: <199402161933.LAA29006@mail.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Bob Cain writes:

> It is true that there was a great deal of enmity between RSA's
> president, Jim Bidzos, and Phil but that was just starting to thaw a
> year or so ago when I let Jim know that Phil was interested in

"Just starting to thaw"? Have you checked recently? As recently as
last Friday night, when I talked to Phil on the phone, the polar
icecap was small by comparison.

> licensing RSA's patents (for those that haven't bothered to check,
> RSA's fees are incredibly reasonable) because there were some
> businesses interested in using PGP that wouldn't because of its
> geurillaware status.  I believe that they worked something out or Phil
> would not have been pursuing the commercial work he got busted/hassled
> for by the fed.  I don't think that RSA deserves any suspicion with
> regard to Phil's troubles.

About Phil having worked something out, you are very misinformed. What
Phil did was to do an end-run arount RSA's objections, and without
RSA's foreknowledge, by working with ViaCrypt, which has already
obtained its own license. Reports are that Bidzos was furious, but
nothing could be done. (I haven't talked to Bidzos since last April,
so of course I can't confirm his side. I have confirmed this in talks
with Phil.)

About any RSA involvement with the Grand Jury issue, RSA was
interviewed and was copied on memos written by the investigators,
according to copies obtained (legally) by Phil Zimmermann. What this
means is anyone's guess, but it ought to be borne in mind.

I don't necessarily view Bidzos as an agent of the AntiChrist as some
do, but things are definitely complicated and soap operish. The "Phil
and Jim Show" has a few more episodes.

--Tim May

Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
tcmay@netcom.com       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
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