Subject: Re: Novel anti-software-patent article
From: Lynn Winebarger <owinebar@free-expression.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2000 14:03:46 -0500 (EST)

On 7 Jan 2000, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:

> Crypto is a special case, though, which is why it is an interesting
> case to talk about with respect to patents.  If you keep the crypto
> algorithm a trade secret, people won't trust it.  (And, moreover,
> history shows that it probably won't be as strong as you think it is.)
> 
    Correction: _some_ people won't trust it.  What's more, it'll probably
be incorporated into some particular application (or OS service) rather
than being available by itself, and most of the end-users of those
services won't care too much about knowing the details as long as they're
sufficiently reassured by a large company (if they think about it at all).
   In particular, I've seen a MS developer who works on their streaming
media software espouse the "security through obscurity" model as safe on a
webcasting list.  That may be a special case though, as there the goal is
to keep the human recipient of the encrypted data ignorant of the contents
while the program is not (unlike the normal use of the word "security"
where third parties are the ones you want to keep ignorant, not second
parties).

Lynn