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Re: OpenPGP as a standard



Erron Criddle writes:
>  From discussions with people who have been involved with the standards 
> process, they believe that the OpenPGP RFC has a long way to go before it 
> would be accepted as a standard because the processing requirements of 
> OpenPGP have been superficially regarded with respect to packet formats 
> such as the calculation of the length of a packet and the combined security 
> of the actual packet (ie as OpenPGP is a security standard, so NO data 
> should be spooled to disk unless it is encrypted somehow).

What about S/MIME?  It doesn't say anything about what you do when
spooling data to disk in order to calculate a signature on it, does it?
Do these people you know say that S/MIME shouldn't become a standard
either?

> For example, in order to calculate the length of a stream of literal data 
> (before it is prepended with a one pass sig and appended with a standard 
> sig, and subsequently compressed then encrypted), you have to spool the 
> data to the disk if it is a very large file. In order to maintain security, 
> the data SHOULD be encypted to disk, however when we want to build the 
> above packet, we would then have to decrypt the data so it could be 
> prepended with the 1P sig, appended with the normal sig and then compressed 
> then encrypted ONCE AGAIN...etc etc

Actually, as I think you mentioned in a later mail, OpenPGP goes to some
lengths to define data formats which will avoid this problem.  This is
why we added one-pass signatures, and why we added partial packet length
specifiers.  So your people are apparently not even that familiar with
the standard.

> This is one example I have been quoted and I cannot say there are 
> equivalent examples that "may" slow down the process of OpenPGP becoming a 
> standard.

It sounds to me like your people are looking for excuses.

The real problem I see with OpenPGP is simply that so few people implement
it.  Making it an internet standard will not suddenly make people rush to
produce implementations, any more than making it a proposed standard did.

Hal Finney