Subject: Re: patent trolls and X-licensors
From: "Ben Tilly" <btilly@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2006 14:05:52 -0700

On 6/5/06, simo <s@ssimo.org> wrote:
> On Mon, 2006-06-05 at 13:27 -0700, Thomas Lord wrote:
> > simo wrote:
> > > [re RSA]
> > > Not only that, you should also ask your self how much that patent
> > > actually slowed down adoption of that technology and research around
> > > that area. (Exactly the opposite goals of what a patent system should
> > > serve for).
> >
> > I'm not sure it slowed adoption at all.  I think it might have saved
> > the day.
> >
> > What I've read tells me that the NSA was promoting dubious
> > alternatives around the same time.   I do seem to remember, from
> > back then, some very big firms pushing these dubious alternatives
> > even in hardware form.
>
> Can you point out which dubious standard was it? And exactly why the NSA
> was pushing it?
[...]

I believe this is a reference to the Clipper chip.  The NSA was
pushing it because it offered them interception abilities: they could
break the encryption.  The problem, after researchers finally got to
investigate how it worked, was that plenty of others could break it as
well.

Cheers,
Ben