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Re: The RC2 debate

1997-04-21 15:38:39
It seems pretty clear to me.   Both Jeff Schiller and Keith Moore have stated 
<categorically that RC2, because of its "trade secret" status is not an 
acceptible algorithm for an IETF standards track document.   They get to 
decide on that particular issue.   I am fully in agreement with them on this 
I don't know if RSADSI can still claim this to be a trade secret.  Because of 
the questionable status of RC4, the release of RC2 was handled very carefully 
to make sure it was a genuine clean-room copy, and the whole process was very 
publicly documented to ensure it could be verified by anyone.  First an RC2 
implementation was reverse-engineered, then a text-only specification of the 
algorithm was written by someone on the other side of the planet, and finally 
a third person (back on the other side of the planet again) who had never seen 
the reverse-engineerd RC2 code wrote a new implementation based entirely on 
the text-only specification.  The entire process was documented in postings to 
sci.crypt.  Although IANAL, from what I've read of reverse-engineering this 
should be good enough to withstand scrutiny - in any case a reasonably 
sizeable non-US company which is using the code has had their lawyers look at 
it briefly and is confident they'll win any legal challenge, at least based on 
EU laws which AFAIK are mostly the same as US ones in this regard.

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