GnuPG and RSA/IDEA extensions

Werner Koch wk at
Thu Feb 18 21:34:27 CET 1999

Rich Wales <richw at> writes:

> Would it be a violation of the GPL to have an RSA extension which con-
> tained _only_ the required interface to the RSAREF library, so that the
> user would have to obtain the RSAREF code separately (and agree to its
> odious patent restrictions) in order to use it?

A module is part of the same process and therefor subject to the GPL
(it is linked).  The GIMP uses another approach where every extension
is an own process and communicate with the main program by shared
memory.  So it is possible to write a GPLed module which forks and
execs the non-GPLed module .... (but see my sig) 

> 	RW > gpg: NOTE: cipher algorithm 1 not found in preferences
> 	RW > Is there anything I can do to get rid of this diagnostic?
> 	WK > OpenPGP requires such a warning.
> But section 12.4 of RFC 2440 (third paragraph) says RSA may be supported
> for backward compatibility, and that this constitutes an exception to

But cipher algorithm 1 is IDEA which is in another set of preferences.

> As far as newer keys are concerned, though, it seems to me that GnuPG
> really should provide a way to specify non-standard preferences.  Note

Sure.  But at some point we have to stop adding features until a real


ceterum censeo RSA esse delendam

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