force-v4-certs and digest-algo

Robert J. Hansen rjhansen at
Fri May 10 05:47:01 CEST 2002

> While this may be true, it is a de facto SHOULD, just like IDEA is.

Be careful. Going further down this road will lead us to the World of
Microsoft.  There's a razor's edge between saying "we will support the
spec, including all SHOULDs" and saying "we will support the spec, plus
whatever additional things we feel are de-facto standards".  The one way
is the Free Software/Open Source way.  The other way is the Microsoft
Embrace and Extend way (q.v., their Kerberos implementation).

Unless the spec lists it as a MUST or a SHOULD, I honestly don't think
GnuPG should generate it.  Be liberal in what you accept, but very
conservative in what you generate.  (I know that Len says RIPEMD-160
isn't a SHOULD, and I have no reason to doubt him.  However, I haven't
checked RFC2440/2015/3156 myself yet, so I'll hedge it with an

> There is no reason that DSA couldn't use any other 160 bit hash. Nevertheless,

Sure there is.  If DSA used any other 160-bit hash, it wouldn't be DSA
anymore because the DSA spec demands SHA.  Insofar as whether or not the
DSA spec could be changed to accept RIPEMD-160, and whether or not the
resulting system would still be secure... who knows?  Cryptosystems are
fragile things; known-strong algorithms can interact with each other to
produce weak systems.

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