any plans to use serpent?

Janusz A. Urbanowicz alex at
Thu Apr 13 12:02:55 CEST 2006

On Wed, Apr 12, 2006 at 08:11:18PM -0500, Travis H. wrote:
> >From everything I read, serpent is the most conservative of the AES candidates.
> Are there any plans to incorporate it into gpg?  If so, why not? ;-)

The real question is why yes?

if you want to use modern and trendy algorithm, you have AES. If
you're cryptographically conservative like me, there is 3DES. If
you're old school PGP there is IDEA and CAST. If you're Schneier's
follower, there is Blowfish. What qualities do Serpent have that the
abovementioned lack?

Adding a new option to a widely established protocol like OpenPGP is
no light task. It complicates a lot of things. Even with the variety
that we have now, it is not trivial to communicate two PGP

New stuff should be added if it is absolutely needed.

OTOH, in crypto communication design it is an important factor that
compromised protocol could be disabled and another one enabled in
place. IMO (note: I'm a not a professional security engineer at the
moment) the current variety is enough.

If you want to use Serpent, implement it as a module with algorithm ID
between 100 and 110 (local/experimental). For example there is such an
unofficial module for NSA-designed Skipjack algorithm.

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