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Date: 1999-01-15

CNN covering q/depesche

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q/depesche 99.1.15/2
updating 99.1.4/1

CNN covering q/depesche

Während die ENFOPOL-Papiere immer noch im
Wochenabstand Echos auf US/News/Sites produzieren,
schaffte es eine andere q/depesche via IDG Net bis in die
Technews von CNN.

Wir danken aus diesem Anlass allen genannten &
ungenannten Netzbewohner/innen, die uns mit 1a aktueller
Information versorgen von Herzen. Ohne die massive
Unterstützung der Community hätten wir nur einen Bruchtteil
aller Knaller seit April 98 produziert.

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German developer releases free 128-bit encryption software

by Mary Lisbeth D'Amico
The program, called GnuPG (GnuPrivacyGuard), runs on any
Unix-based platform and features 128-bit encryption, the
same strength encryption as PGP, according to Werner
Koch, the Düsseldorf-based software developer who wrote the
program. GnuPG is also compatible with PGP versions 5.0
and 6.0, so it can send and receive PGP-encrypted

One advantage of GnuPG over PGP is that not only is it
secure, but it is also clearly in the public domain, according
to Erich Moechel, editor of the Internet newsletter
Quintessenz, who has tested the software. That means there
is no chance it will be subject to government restrictions on
exporting encryption software, he said.

In Vienna last month, 33 countries signed the Wassenaar
Arrangement, agreeing to put export controls on some kinds
of secure software. Although "mass market" software is
considered exempt from these controls, the software that
falls into this category is not very secure, according to
Moechel. "That stuff can be cracked in a matter of
milliseconds," he said.

It is not clear whether PGP falls into the category of public
domain software, Moechel said. PGP version 5.0 business
edition is clearly a commercial program, according to GnuPG
creator Koch. PGP is now owned by Network Associates
Inc. and is sold commercially. Although a free version of PGP
5.0 exists, Koch said, it is not being used for commercial
Koch released early versions of GnuPG in December 1997,
and has been improving it ever since. Now, he said, he feels
he has a "good, stable program," which is ready for beta
testing. In several months Koch plans to release version 1.0,
after which the program will only require patches, Koch said.
In its current form, GnuPG will mainly be of interest to
software developers, according to Moechel. "It doesn't have a
graphical user interface. It also lacks some of the extra
features offered by PGP-based products that run on
Windows, such as a key server, which allows a function that
can search the names of people that hold a public key," he
said. Koch says that feature will be included in Version 1.0,

GnuPG could easily be adapted for Windows, Koch said, but
"I'm not going to do that for free. I'm not that interested in
Windows," he said.
GnuPG is already in commercial use and has been
translated into 10 languages, he said. It has been used, for
example, to encrypt a mailing list with sensitive medical
information, to create anonymous e-mails in cases where
someone does not want their identity traced, and to check
the identity of certain parties who control Internet news
forums, Koch said.
Although software released as "freeware" is public, the
copyright to the GnuPG program does exist and is held by
the Boston-based Free Software Foundation, Koch said.

full story

relayed by
Otmar Lendl <>

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published on: 1999-01-15
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