Security Portal: RSA Algorithm Released: So What?

“RSA formally announced that the RSA algorithm will be released
into the public domain. This is definitely good news, and RSA
should be applauded for their move. From an end consumer’s point of
view, however, this changes very little.
The announcement from
RSA explains why RSA Security released the RSA algorithm into the
public domain early….”

“That sounds pretty good. You can now build products in the USA
that use the RSA algorithm, and freely. Most people don’t, though.
Most people go and buy an RSA implementation from the company with
the same name. Since RSA holds a copyright on this software they
can still enforce licensing fees and so on.”

“Using RSAREF (a reference implementation of RSA) has very
restrictive licensing as well. You cannot use it in any situation
that directly generates revenue. For example, a company can use
OpenSSH to administer internal servers (OpenSSH uses OpenSSL, which
can be compiled against RSAREF), but a university could not legally
use OpenSSH to allow student to log into servers since they charge
tuition, which ultimately pays for network services. Because of
this restriction on RSAREF it is pointless to ship encryption
products based on it. After all, a very limited subset of users
would legally be able to use it.”


Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Developer Insider for top news, trends, & analysis