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Newsgroups: sci.crypt
From: (Hugh Miller)
Subject: ViaCrypt PGP to ship today
Message-ID: <hugh.752165723@gargoyle>
Followup-To: talk.politics.crypto
Sender: (News System)
Organization: University of Chicago -- Academic & Public Computing
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1993 14:55:23 GMT
Lines: 64

(Followups to talk.politics.crypto)

    ViaCrypt, Inc., will begin shipping ViaCrypt PGP today, 1 November
1993.  ViaCrypt PGP is a commercial public-key encryption package which is 
based on, and virtually identical with, the freeware program known as PGP, 
or `Pretty Good Privacy.' (The source code is in fact identical to that of 
the freeware version 2.3a of PGP, with the exception of the RSA encryption 
module, which is one ViaCrypt developed in-house after acquiring a license 
for the algorithm from PKPartners.  In addition, ViaCrypt incorporates a 
few bug fixes.  The private-key crypto algorithm is IDEA, as in freeware 
PGP, for which ViaCrypt has obtained a license from Ascom-Tech AG of Zurich.)  
ViaCrypt bought its RSA license from PKP before either PKP or ViaCrypt knew
that ViaCrypt would someday use it to sell PGP.  ViaCrypt later acquired 
the rights to sell PGP from Phil Zimmermann.  I don't know what PKP thinks 
of this state of affairs, but ViaCrypt's PKP license clearly allows them
to sell PGP.

    Output is byte-for-byte identical with that of freeware PGP 2.3a, except 
that the `Version' header atop the message body reads "Version: 2.4" 
instead of "Version: 2.3a".  Keys, signature certificates, binary or 
ASCII-armored ciphertexts, produced by one program will be identical to, 
and transparently handled by, the other.  ViaCrypt PGP will (for now) be 
available in the US and Canada only, pending any future relaxation of the 
ITAR export control laws.  Phil Zimmermann says no compromises in the 
cryptographic strength of PGP were made for ViaCrypt's version of PGP.

    The ViaCrypt PGP package include program disks (executables only, no 
source code), user manual, and individual user license.  The current release 
will be for MS-DOS only; ViaCrypt plans to ship a UNIX version soon. 
Introductory price of a single user package is US$100.  (For purchases 
of 20 units or more, a substantial discount -- price drops to about US$41 
per user -- is available.)

    To purchase ViaCrypt PGP or to find out more about it, you can contact
them as follows:

    2104 W. Peoria Ave.
    Phoenix, AZ 85029 USA
    602-944-0773 (Voice)
    602-943-2601 (FAX) (Netmail)

    I have no connection with ViaCrypt, commercial or otherwise.  Indeed, I
disagree in principle with the concept of algorithm patents.  I think, 
though, that the net, and particularly users and admirers of the freeware 
PGP deserve to hear about this.  Because ViaCrypt paid PKP for a 
license, users of ViaCrypt can now utilize PGP with absolutely no fear of 
lawsuit for patent infringement.  Since ViaCrypt will ship only in 
USA/Canada, ITAR violations are not at issue.  This will enable the 
PGP approach, with its decentralized distributed-trust key management, 
to achieve crucial penetration into the corporate marketplace.  
This will speed its acceptance as the de facto email crypto standard, 
as opposed to other centralized or key-escrow schemes, like PEM or Clipper.  
And ViaCrypt PGP will enable U.S. users to communicate completely legally 
with non-U.S. users of PGP 2.3a.


Hugh Miller       | Asst. Prof. of Philosophy |  Loyola University Chicago
FAX: 312-508-2292 |    Voice: 312-508-2727    |
PGP 2.3A Key fingerprint: FF 67 57 CC 0C 91 12 7D  89 21 C7 12 F7 CF C5 7E

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