DH/DSS vs ElGame/DSS?

David Shaw dshaw at jabberwocky.com
Fri Apr 24 17:39:56 CEST 2009

On Apr 24, 2009, at 10:34 AM, Felipe Alvarez wrote:

>> It's historical.  Back in the late 1990s, the PGP developers were
>> offered a free patent license if they called it Diffie-Hellman.  Now
>> that the patent has expired, though, it's a little hard to change
>> their product without confusing a bunch of customers who would see
>> their "Diffie-Hellman" keys suddenly become "Elgamal" keys.
>> David
> [citation needed]??

Jon Callas, CTO of the PGP corporation.  I'm afraid I don't have a URL  
to point you to.

Note that this wasn't skullduggery of some sort or another.  Whatever  
the product calls it, it the same algorithm as specified in the  
OpenPGP standard (that which we call a rose, by any other name would  
smell as sweet).  The patent holders (Cylink) simply wanted to push  
the name Diffie-Hellman for marketing reasons.  Back in the 1990s,  
crypto was really hampered by patent problems, and I imagine a free  
license would be a significant gift.


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