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Upside: Primed and ready

Sep 09, 2000, 18:31 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Williams)

"Perhaps hoping to stifle any Mozilla-type celebration within the anti-software patent community, RSA Security (RSAS), official administrators of the RSA public key encryption patent, dumped their crown jewel into the public domain on Wednesday, two weeks ahead of schedule."

"Originally granted on Sept. 20, 1983, the RSA algorithm patent was set to expire on the 17th anniversary of that original grant due to federal patent law...."

"Theo De Raadt, project leader for OpenBSD says the security conscious decision may incorporate a free version of RSA in the next release, slated for December. Then again, OpenBSD users have always had a way around the patent."

"Because the patent only applies inside the U.S., non-U.S. users simply could download a library package that included RSA functionality via OpenBSD's Canadian servers. U.S. users could, too, provided they were willing to run the risk of antagonizing RSA Security's lawyers."

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