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[ANNOUNCE] Phil Zimmermann on recent FUD and PGP 5.0 plans

1997-06-06 14:11:49
A message from our Fearless Leader...


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Last month, Pretty Good Privacy Inc went through a  reorganization in
its top management.  We were spending too much money, too fast.  Tom
Steding was replaced by Phil Dunkelberger as the president of PGP, and
I handed over the chairman title to Jonathan Seybold, who had been, with
me, the original cofounder of the company.  Jonathan is devoting his time
to the business side of things, while I am focussing my attention on my
role as chief technology officer.

I have seen some speculation in some usenet newsgroups that these changes
were in some way connected with the fact that PGP was recently sued by RSA
Data Security over some dispute regarding royalties for use of the RSA
patent, which PGP holds a license to.  Let me set the record straight
on this.  There are sound business reasons why this shuffling of top
management occurred at PGP, and these reasons are known to all of our
employees.  The RSA lawsuit against PGP is absolutely not one of the
reasons, not even remotely.  I don't think shuffling top management is
a likely reaction for any company to take in response to a lawsuit, even
if the lawsuit had merit, which this one does not.  We fully expect the
RSA matter to be resolved in arbitration proceedings, in our favor.

I know that it is common practice for some companies to issue statements
to "spin" the story about certain events, sometimes at the expense of
truth.  This makes a lot of people understandably skeptical about such
explanations.  I do have responsibilities toward my company, but no
one could get me to deny a truth about the reasons for the restructuring.
The truth is, the restructuring had absolutely nothing at all to do with
the RSA lawsuit.

I would now like to announce that we will be releasing PGP 5.0 in mid-June.
It's in beta release right now on our web page (  In keeping
with my own dedication to personal freedom and privacy, we will be releasing
a freeware version for noncommercial use through MIT's web site
(, just like in the old days before the company was formed.
And we do plan to publish the full PGP source code for Mac, Windows 95,
and Linux.

There are a lot of new exciting features, including automatic key lookups
from remote key servers on the Internet, which will likely result in the
rapid growth of a ready-made nationwide PGP public-key infrastructure,
on an unprecedented scale.  We are also encouraging the migration to new
public key algorithms in addition to RSA, namely the NIST Digital
Signature Standard (DSS), as well as Diffie-Hellman (Elgamal) keys.
We expect most of the new users to be using these new algorithms instead
of RSA, in part because they offer new features, better performance, and
better security for the same key sizes.  I hope that you will all join me
in this opportunity to move to these new algorithms, allowing everyone to
finally enjoy the use of public key cryptography without the encumberances
of patents.

Philip Zimmermann
Chief Technology Officer, PGP Inc.

Version: PGP for Personal Privacy 5.0
Charset: noconv


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