Re: [openpgp] Proposal to include AEAD OCB mode to 4880bis

"brian m. carlson" <sandals@crustytoothpaste.net> Sat, 28 October 2017 00:33 UTC

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Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2017 00:33:46 +0000
From: "brian m. carlson" <sandals@crustytoothpaste.net>
To: Ronald Tse <tse@ribose.com>
Cc: "openpgp@ietf.org" <openpgp@ietf.org>
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Subject: Re: [openpgp] Proposal to include AEAD OCB mode to 4880bis
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On Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 10:12:51AM +0000, Ronald Tse wrote:
> 3. The misunderstanding that OpenPGP implementers will not implement OCB due to IPR disclosures.

This has nothing to do with whether implementers will implement it.
This has to do with whether users will be willing to use a spec or
implementation that has patent concerns associated with it.

> Werner of GnuPG, has already indicated support to OCB on multiple
> occasions. Our own open-source OpenPGP implementation, RNP, will
> implement OCB. Anyone that uses popular cryptographic libraries like
> OpenSSL and Botan can already implement this and is covered by the
> licenses.

GnuPG relies on libgcrypt for cryptographic functionality.  On Debian,
libgcrypt is linked into Xorg, which is often linked to proprietary
software such as graphics drivers.  Since Debian cannot avail itself of
license 2 (because restrictions on military use are unacceptable) and
license 1 prohibits uses with proprietary software, Debian's GnuPG is
unlikely to have support for OCB unless Debian ships two separate copies
of libgcrypt.  For the same reason, Ubuntu is also likely to have the
same policy.

I've filed a bug with Debian to bring this to their attention.

These are the kind of practical reasons that patented software is
problematic and should not be a part of any specifications.  I don't
believe there's a consensus on adding this, since the groups seem at
best evenly split.  Previous opinions in the working group were mostly
negative.

I remain wholly opposed to including OCB in the OpenPGP specification,
and if this specification should make it to last call with OCB included,
I will oppose it on those grounds.
-- 
brian m. carlson / brian with sandals: Houston, Texas, US
https://www.crustytoothpaste.net/~bmc | My opinion only
OpenPGP: https://keybase.io/bk2204