Fun_People Archive
12 Aug
Bits of TBTF for 8/8/96

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 96 16:28:33 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: Bits of TBTF for 8/8/96

Excerpted-from: TBTF for 8/8/96: Eine kleine Nachtwortspiel
		by: Keith Dawson <>
                 To read this issue of TBTF on the Web see

||| An equal opportunistic encryptor |||

John Gilmore <> has initiated a fast-track approach to making
the Internet secure, which he calls "opportunistic encryption" [1]. It's
based on the IP Security spec [2] being developed by a working group of
the Internet Engineering Task Force [3]. IPSEC will be incorporated into
the next version of the Internet architecture -- IPV6; in the current ar-
chitecture it's optional. Gilmore's plan is to build IPSEC into the Linux
operating system [4] with full-strength encryption algorithms based on
Triple-DES, RSA, and Diffie-Hellman. The cryptographic work will be done
offshore (as Linux is distributed offshore) so as not to be subject to
U.S. laws limiting the export of munitions. Once IPSEC is part of Linux
you will need only to install a Linux box on your network to encrypt au-
tomatically all communications between your site and any other similarly
configured network. Gilmore's goal is to secure 5% of the Internet by
Christmas by taking advantage of the "fax effect" -- the more sites that
are IPSEC-enabled the more valuable it becomes to add the capability to
each new site. Gilmore's effort diverges from that of the IPSEC working
group in its sense of urgency. He wrote in a 7/27 message to that body:

> Governments are rushing to outlaw [encryption]. [FBI Director] Louis
> Freeh said as much in his Congressional testimony last week. We need
> a user base who'll object to having it taken away. It's also a lot
> easier to do the design work in the open, rather than as a hunted
> criminal or expatriate.

Gilmore, one of the original Cypherpunks, is squarely in line with the
Internet Architecture Board and the Internet Engineering Steering Group,
which organizations have recently taken a public stand [5] in favor of
strong crypto to provide security and privacy on the Internet.

Thanks to Dan Kohn <> for passing along news of Gil-
more's IPSEC plans.

[1]  <>
[2]  <
[3]  <>
[4]  <>
[5]  <>

- - - - - - - - -

||| MSNBC uses Netscape Navigator on a Macintosh |||

Have you seen Microsoft's new TV network MSNBC yet? Neither have I, my
local cable company doesn't carry it. John Moe <>
got an early look and posted this note to the apple-internet-users mailing

> If anyone had any doubt which browser is the best, I guess MSNBC
> just proved that [it's] Netscape... I'd think that if anyone would
> have a reason to use MSIE [Microsoft Internet Explorer] it would be
> MSNBC. On [an MSNBC show called] "The Site," while viewing the
> Olympic web site they were clearly using Netscape (on a Mac even)...
> They do use MSIE for showing a single page sometimes during short ads.

The network's visible use of a rival browser and a non-Microsoft OS may
seem ironic, but I believe they underscore the credibility of MSNBC's
claim to editorial independence from its corporate parent.

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