How to create RSA keys.

Johan Wevers
Fri Aug 9 10:18:07 2002

Graham wrote:

> RSA keys use the IDEA algorithm

That is not true generally. The symmetric encryption algorithm used to
encrypt RSA keys, or messages whose session key is encrypted with RSA, can
be any symmetric algorithm. That in practice IDEA is often used is true,
due to pgp 2.x, but this is by no means a must.

> that is still patented in some countries and is proprietary software. 
> Consequently, GnuPG, which is part of the OpenSource movement and follows
> its philosophy, does not include the ability to generate RSA keys

It does include RSA key generation in version 1.0.7.

> and will not do so until all patents have expired

The RSA patent expired in sept. 2000. before that, GnuPG didn't even read
RSA keys except when you used a (now obsolete) RSA plugin.

Perhaps someone who doesn't care about patents and such can implement
certain elleptic curves as a plugin.

> However, you would only need this if you correspond with somebody that
> ONLY encrypts with PGP 2.6.x and insists upon similar encryption in
> return.  And for that you could get PGP 2.6.x as well.......

Sometimes it's easier to use only one of the 2, for example when
integration with the mail program is involved.

ir. J.C.A. Wevers         //  Physics and science fiction site:   //
PGP/GPG public keys at